Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in April

The American economy gained 263,000 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 173,000 jobs. The unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent.

It’s an odd jobs report this month. The size of the labor force dropped by almost half a million, and both the number of employed people and the number of unemployed people went down. The employment-population ratio remained unchanged from last month. Still, job growth was pretty strong, and our economic expansion appears to be rolling along without any letup.

Average hourly earnings of blue-collar workers went up at an annualized rate of 3.8 percent compared to March, which is very good considering that the inflation rate is very low. Here’s the year-over-year growth in blue-collar wages over the past few years:

The last six months have all seen wage growth higher than 1 percent. That’s pretty good if we can keep it up.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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