The American economy gained 224,000 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 fairly strong 134,000 jobs. Here’s how things broke down generally, using data from the household survey:
That’s very healthy. The labor force grew faster than population growth, which means people are coming in off the sidelines to look for jobs. Of these new entries, however, many didn’t find jobs and were counted as unemployed (as opposed to not even looking), which is why the headline unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.7 percent.
On the earnings side, the news wasn’t as good. Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers increased at an annualized rate of about 2.1 percent. Adjusted for inflation, that’s nearly zero.