A Little Note About Reporting on the Economy

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As writeups begin to appear about the August jobs report, I’ve noticed a fair number of people describing it as “strong.” I wish reporters would stop doing this when the BLS announces fairly ordinary numbers like the 201,000 new jobs we got last month.¹ This isn’t terrible or anything, but jobs have been growing at about this rate for so long that it seems as if we’ve finally all been socialized to think of anything over 200,000 or so as strong. But it’s really not. If I had my druthers, the starting point for “strong” would be 300,000 new jobs—and we’ve hit that number only five times in the past five years.

So let’s not get carried away. Donald Trump will probably describe this as the greatest jobs report ever, but the rest of us should stick to more judicious descriptions. 200,000 new jobs is fairly good, but that’s it. We can do better, and we should.

¹They should especially knock it off when the labor force shrinks and the number of people working drops by 423,000. That just isn’t a great jobs report.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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