Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in February

The American economy gained 313,000 jobs last month. We need 90,000 new jobs just to keep up with population growth, which means that net job growth clocked in at 223,000 jobs. That’s a terrific number, and it was generated entirely by increased employment: 653,000 people entered the labor force and the employment-population ratio increased from 60.1 percent to 60.4 percent. The headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent. There’s nothing not to like here.

Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up an annualized 3.4 percent compared to inflation of 2.1 percent. That’s not bad, though it’s suprisingly modest considering the strength of the jobs report. It just goes to show that there are still a fair number of discouraged workers in reserve who are now entering the labor force because employers are getting desperate to find people. This reserve pool is most likely keeping wages subdued even though the economy is doing very nicely.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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