Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in March

The American economy lost 701,000 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—

Ahem. I suppose that accounting for population growth hardly matters at this point, does it? Just for the record, though, here’s the jobs chart for March:

This is for early March, by the way. The full extent of job losses due to COVID-19 won’t show up until next month.

And also just for the record, March was a fairly good month for wages. Average hourly wages for blue collar workers went up about 3 percent after accounting for inflation. That’s pretty good! Assuming you still have a job, that is. Most of you probably do, but there are obvious exceptions. I don’t normally bother showing job losses by category, but it’s worthwhile this time:

The biggest job losses by far came in four areas: retail, temp services, health care, and hospitality (which includes restaurants). I’m a little surprised about the job losses in the health care sector. There must be a specific story behind this, but I’m not sure what it is.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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