Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in May

Thursday is evil dex day, which means I’ve been up all night. And you’re the winner! The BLS releases jobs numbers at 8:30 am, but I’m on the West Coast and I don’t roll out of bed until several hours after that. That means my take is usually dated before I even put it up. But not today: I’m awake and ready to give you the fresh take you need to start your day. Here we go:

The American economy gained 223,000 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 133,000 jobs. The headline unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, but unlike last month this wasn’t due to people dropping out of the labor force. It was almost entirely due to lots of people getting jobs.

Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up at an annualized rate of 3.9 percent. With overall inflation running at about 2.4 percent, that’s a significant increase.

This is a very strong jobs report and it makes up for the disappointing April report. Our economic expansion appears to still be on track.