Jobs Numbers: The Biggest Hoax in American Politics?
President Trump has completely flip-flopped the way he looks at economic data. When he was on the campaign trail, he called the stock market a “big, fat, ugly bubble.” Now that he’s sitting in the Oval Office, he takes credit for the same bubble.
He’s done the same kind of 180 when it comes to employment data. On the campaign trail, he called 5% unemployment “the biggest hoax in American history.” But when the jobs report came out last week, Trump eagerly tweeted, “The unemployment rate remains at a 17-year low of 4.1%. The unemployment rate in manufacturing dropped to 2.6%, the lowest ever recorded. The unemployment rate among Hispanics dropped to 4.7%, the lowest ever recorded…”
Peter Schiff called Trump out on his flip-flop in his most recent podcast.
Well, if 5% was the biggest hoax in American history, what’s 4.1%? It’s an even bigger hoax. So, this is the biggest hoax in American history except the difference is now Trump is the purveyor of that hoax. He is no longer calling it out. He is now participating in the same hoax that he criticized in order to get elected.”
The official jobs numbers came in better than projected. According to the Labor Department, the US economy added 228,000 jobs in November. Earnings rose 3.1% over the last 12-months, but much of that was due to people working longer hours. Average hourly pay increased 2.5%, a number most considered disappointing. As Peter pointed out, looking at the earnings numbers over the last couple of months was even more disappointing. The projection was a 0.3% increase after a zero increase in October. Instead there we got a 0.2 increase in November and the October number was revised down to -0.1.
It’s also notable that the labor force participation rate held steady at 62.7, near the lowest it’s been in this cycle.
It’s one thing to talk about a raw number of new jobs, but it’s important to look at where those jobs are coming from. The economy did add 31,000 manufacturing jobs. That’s certainly a plus. But the majority of the jobs were created in education an healthcare, as Peter put it, “two bloated sectors of the economy that are being propped up by government.”
Overall, Peter wasn’t impressed by the types of jobs created and he said it looks a lot like the jobs report we got when Obama was in the White House.
Again, a lot of low-wage jobs. A lot of part-time jobs. Nothing has changed. It’s the same phony jobs that President Trump was calling Obama out on. It’s what helped him become elected because it resonated with the people who had those lousy jobs. But of course, now that they’re his lousy jobs, it’s a different story. Everything is great.”
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