Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in November

The American economy gained 155,000 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 an anemic 65,000 jobs. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 3.7 percent.

There was a big drop in the number of people who work part-time for non-economic reasons (i.e., they work part-time by choice), but it wasn’t clear what happened to them. Did they quit entirely and go back to housekeeping, or did they take up full-time work? Its unclear from the other numbers, but either way it’s probably a measure of a fairly strong economy.

Earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers increased at an annual rate of 3.8 percent. With inflation running at about 2.5 percent recently, that’s a real annualized increase of 1.3 percent. Not bad.