We’re Still Not Quite at Full Employment

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Here’s another look at how the economy is doing:

The overall labor force participation rate is hard to draw conclusions from because it includes students and retirees. Some of the change in these categories might be related to the state of the economy, but some of it is simply voluntary and demographic.

By looking only at prime-age workers, we eliminate this point of confusion. The good news is that the participation rate has been increasing for the past two years. The bad news is that we’re still roughly 1 percentage point away from full employment. That’s about a million people, give or take. The economy continues to improve, but it still has a ways to go before it’s firing on all cylinders.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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