Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in February

The American economy gained 273,000 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 183,000 jobs. That’s a pretty strong number, and the January number was revised upward as well. The headline unemployment rate ticked down slightly to 3.5 percent.

Part of the jobs gain was something of a statistical mirage. Nearly 200,000 people dropped out of work in February—double the usual number—and the civilian labor force shrank. The total number of employed people increased by only 45,000 and the employment-population ratio actually declined.

On the bright side, earnings rose smartly. Hourly earnings for blue-collar workers increased at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent after inflation, and weekly earnings increased a whopping 5.4 percent.

All in all, despite the iffiness of the jobs numbers, this is a very strong jobs reports. The number of new jobs was high; the headline unemployment rate went down; and earnings went up. There’s not much to complain about here.

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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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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