It’s nice when you can reach a definitive opinion on what a piece of information means – especially when it comes to politics. Unfortunately, the new jobs numbers don’t seem to offer any tidy conclusions.
This morning, the Labor Department released the latest data on hiring and unemployment numbers for the month of December 2017, and depending on how you look at it, America is either meeting expectations, exceeding them, or falling short.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American employers added 148,000 jobs in December, bringing the three-month average to 204,000 jobs added per month. On top of that, the unemployment rate stayed the same at 4.1%.
If you’re a Trump supporter, all of this looks like good news – the economy appears to be thriving. And this is partially correct: December’s gain in marks the 87th consecutive month of job growth, and that’s a good thing. But before the MAGA set starts waving its stupid little red caps in ecstasy, let’s keep a few things in mind.
First, we all know Trump is going to take credit for the creation of any job that ever existed in human history (“Very proud to bring the pyramid-building industry back to Egypt! JOBS!”); however, most economists believe that presidents do not have any meaningful impact on the economy.
Of course, that won’t satisfy Trump or his acolytes; as far as he’s concerned, the president dictates the economy. So if he wants to play by those rules, then I’m sure he won’t mind going head-to-head against last year’s numbers under Obama.
Job growth has slowed since Trump took office.
Jobs created in 2016: 2.24 million
Jobs created in 2017: 2.06 million
2016: 187,00 jobs/month
2017: 171,000 jobs/month
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 5, 2018
How about that? (It’s also worth noting that coal jobs – the ones Trump is bending over backwards to “rescue,” even at the expense of the entire goddamn planet – went down in December.)
Either way, the numbers are positive and appear to indicate a robust job market. How you interpret the rest of the data is up to you.
[via New York Times]