Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in December

The American economy gained 145,000 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 55,000 jobs. That’s not so great. The headline unemployment rate remained steady at 3.5 percent.

Hourly earnings of blue-collar workers increased about 1 percent, but inflation has been running at 2 percent lately, which means that real earnings declined about 1 percent. This is only a single month of data, but even so it’s kind of astonishing: the unemployment rate is at a record low, but blue-collar wages during the holiday season declined. That hardly seems possible. And yet it happened.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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