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The American economy gained 213,000 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 123,000 jobs. The headline unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent, largely because a whopping 600 thousand people entered the labor force, of which 500,000 were unemployed. This is most likely due to high school and college kids graduating, so it’s nothing to worry about.
Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up at an annualized rate of 2.2 percent. Unfortunately, the latest CPI report shows inflation running at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, which means workers got a pay cut last month. Overall, the employment situation seems to still be fine, but workers just can’t seem to string together any decent wage gains. The last six years have been a pretty good recovery for the rich, but pretty ho-hum for the rest of us.