Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in August

The American economy gained 130,000 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 very sluggish 40,000 jobs. A lot of people gained employment (590,000) but a lot of people also dropped out of the labor force (364,000). The headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 3.7 percent.

On the wage side of things, the news was very bright. Hourly wages for blue-collar workers increased at an annual rate of over 4 percent after adjusting for inflation. Weekly wages rose about 8 percent after accounting for inflation. These are quite astounding numbers. I hope I didn’t make some kind of dumb arithmetic mistake here.

So this is a mixed report. Job growth was pretty tepid but wage growth was terrific. Go figure.

UPDATE: Actually, wage growth was good but not terrific. More here.

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