The American economy gained 228,000 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 138,000 jobs. That’s not bad. The headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent. However, the number of unemployed was up and the employment-population ratio ticked down. Overall, this is a solid but not spectacular employment report.
Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers was up 2.8 percent. That’s a little higher than the inflation rate and makes up for last month’s dip. Over the past 12 months, wages have increased 2.3 percent, slightly higher than the inflation rate of 2.05 percent. For the working and middle classes, wages remain very sluggish.