Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in January

The American economy gained 225,000 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 135,000 jobs. That’s pretty good. The headline unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6 percent.

The news on wages wasn’t as great. Hourly wages of blue-collar workers was up 1.6 percent, but when you account for inflation that’s a decline of about 0.6 percent.

BLS does its annual adjustments in the January jobs report, so it’s hard to make any further comparisons—although it’s notable that the absolute number of unemployed people went up substantially from December. Despite the seasonal adjustment, that might be due to the end of temporary holiday work. Or it might just be an artifact of the annual adjustments. In any case, the news on the jobs front remains pretty solid, while the news on the wage front is disappointing.

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