Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in February

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The American economy added 236,000 new jobs last month, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth was closer to 146,000 jobs. That’s not bad. The headline unemployment number went down to 7.7 percent, also not bad.

On a slightly less cheery note, the December jobs number was revised upward by 24,000 jobs but the January number was revised downward by 38,000 jobs. In addition, February’s low unemployment number was partly due to a declining labor participation rate, which continued its long slide from a high of 67.3 percent in 2000 to 63.5 percent last month.

In other words, mixed news, though generally better than in the past year. But we haven’t yet seen the effects of the sequester. That’s likely to have a noticeable and negative impact on new job creation over the next six months. Fasten your seat belts.

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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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