Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in May

The American economy gained 75,000 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 a terrible -15,000 jobs. At the same time, the March and April numbers were revised downward by 75,000 jobs. The headline unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent.

There was brighter news on the earnings side. Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers increased at an annualized rate of about 3.8 percent. Adjusted for inflation, that’s an increase of nearly 2 percent. Not bad. On the other hand, hours worked was down, so net weekly wages were down about 2 percent (adjusted for inflation).

All in all, this is a pretty weak report, and it continues the fairly weak jobs numbers we’ve seen since the beginning of the year. Is this because our 10-year expansion is finally running out of steam? Or because of Donald Trump’s trade war? Or is it just a blip? Stay tuned.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.