Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in April

The American economy gained 164,000 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 a so-so 74,000 jobs. The headline unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent, but this was entirely due to people dropping out of the labor force. The number of employed workers stayed exactly the same and the employment-population ratio dropped slightly. Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up 2.8 percent. That’s a little higher than the rate of inflation, so blue-collar workers saw a bit of a pay increase last month.

This was a pretty weak jobs report. Blue collar wages rose decently, but the drop in the unemployment rate is illusory, generated not by more people working but by more people dropping out of the labor force. The number of new jobs was OK, but nothing to write home about. The whole thing was very meh.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

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