March jobs report: a ‘Trump slump’?

Our always insecure Twitter-troll-in-chief, Donald J. Trump, has an annoying habit of claiming credit for creating jobs that he did not create.

Trump hadn’t been in office long enough to have done anything meaningful to take credit for the January and February job reports that showed continued strong job growth.

But after 75 days of non-stop scandals and rank incompetence, he can take credit for the March jobs report which shows an apparent “Trump slump” in the rate of job creation. Steve Benen has the monthly jobs report, U.S. job market cools in March, growth reaches a 10-month low:

Donald Trump and the White House were eager to take credit for the strong job reports in January and February. Team Trump will probably be a bit more circumspect about the totals for March.

MarchJobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the U.S. economy added 98,000 jobs in March, less than half the number created in the preceding months. The unemployment rate, however, inched lower to 4.5%, the lowest since the summer of 2007, before the start of the Great Recession.

As for the revisions, both January’s and February’s totals were revised down a little, and combined they show a net loss of 38,000 jobs.

Cue the Twitter-troll-in-chief returning to asserting that the unemployment numbers are a hoax. The Trump way: when news is good, claim credit; when news is bad, claim it is “fake news” or blame anyone else.

I’d caution against making broad assumptions about the direction of the job market based on one monthly report. As we’ve seen for years, the numbers ebb and flow, and disappointing reports are often followed by encouraging ones. That said, March’s 98,000 jobs were far short of projections, and not consistent with the kind of robust job market we’ve seen lately.

Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.

MarchPrivate

In fairness, as economist Jared Bernstein points out, “While some news sources will be tempted by this below-trend payroll number to declare a slump in employment growth–“if it bleeds, it leads”–that would be a mistake. One month does not a new trend make.” Jobs report for March: A tale of two surveys (but not of a jobs slump).

Still, this is potentially a trend to keep an eye on.

UPDATE: Arizona has one of the highest rates of underemployed workers in the nation — 29 percent of part-time workers said they’d prefer full-time employment but haven’t been able to find it, according to the report released Tuesday by researcher Leilani Barnett of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Nationally, 21 percent of part-time workers were in that status involuntarily, according to the study, citing 2014 data. Only Nevada and California had higher rates of involuntary part-time workers, at 33 percent and 30 percent. Report: Arizona one of the worst for underemployment.

That faith based supply-side “trickle down” economics isn’t working in Arizona.

11 Responses to March jobs report: a ‘Trump slump’?

  1. John Huppenthal

    One sparrow doesn’t make a spring.

    Quits are at a cyclical high and approaching an all time record, always a sign of confidence in the economy but not necessarily good for employment reports immediately.

    Hires in January were 340,000 above January 2016, a pretty astonishing number but one that easily raises question marks from a statistical standpoint.

    Don’t get your necks set too deeply in the intellectual guillotine. The next report is only a month away.

    Your hectoring on the pronunciation of pseudonym reveals deep ingrained bigotry. You should restrain yourself. It is unseemly.

    • John Huppenthal

      Stock market is up today. I’ll take that as a positive verdict on the report.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        No, my hectoring of your pronunciation and “founding fathers defense” of using sway-do-nyms is meant to point out some people’s utter lack of shame.

        And with all the humility I can possibly muster, mission accomplished!

        Dude, you’re the one who’s been shilling for Trump, and “one sparrow doesn’t make a spring” was my point. You won’t know the full impact of Cheetolini for years.

        Giving Trump credit for every sunny day will not work out well for you when it clouds up.

        And for about the bazzilionith time, Wall Street is not Main Street.

      • Stock market finished just below flat yesterday. Guess there was a negative verdict on the report after all.

        20 billion dollars up in smoke!

  2. “…he can take credit for the March jobs report which shows an apparent “Trump slump” in the rate of job creation.”

    Of course you will give Trump credit for a bad jobs report. If it had been another good job report, you would have said it was still a residual effect of Obama and his policies. It was just a matter of time until there was a bad report and that would be when you would start crediting Trump for it. Well, AzBM, it happened, so from now on, for good or bad, the job reports are now Trumps. No more of this”Obama and his policies” crapola.

    “The Trump way: when news is good, claim credit; when news is bad, claim it is “fake news” or blame anyone else.”

    As opposed to the “AzBM way”: when the news is good, credit Obama; when the news is bad, blame Trump. But that is over now, right? Good or bad, the Jobs Report is now Trump’s.

    • Honestly, though, Presidents have a lot less influence on the economy (for good or ill) than they, the media, or the voters think.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        That is 100% correct.

        However, we have a few conservatives around here in the Trump cult who were very quick to give credit to all things good in the economy to Trump, going back to before the election even.

        If they’re going to do play that game, then they need to own the bad things as well.

        • Don’t blame “a few conservatives” for giving credit to Trump as the basis for this discussion. The truth is that AzBM has ALWAYS given reports on the job reports that touted Obama’s influence for the BOOM he says we were having. Even after Trump was in office, AzBM kept touting the Obama effect for the good job reports. Then we have a slight dip in the reports, and AzBM immediately labels it a Trump report. So, if you want to blame someone, blame AzBM. Everythiing else is just reaction to him.

          I heartily agree that Presidents have little impact on the jobs report.

    • AZ BlueMeanie

      I have reported the job numbers, good or bad, for over eight years either way, so your whiny-ass theory is full of shit. The caption is playing off Jared Bernstein’s post that I cite at the end, but you are always too blinded by your partisan goggles to notice. And if you don’t like he alliteration of “Trump slump,” too bad — I suggest you Google it and see how it has been in widespread use well before I used it.

      • “I have reported the job numbers, good or bad, for over eight years either way, so your whiny-ass theory is full of shit.

        Yes, you have, but for the time I have been reading them, you always managed to give Obama a good spin from them, whether the report was good or bad. But now Trump is President and I will guarantee that you will never give him a positive spin regardless of whether the jobs report is good or bad. From now on, the jobs reports are Trumps and when they are good, as many will be, you can’t give Obama credit for it.

        “And if you don’t like he alliteration of “Trump slump,” too bad…”

        I don’t remember having any objection to “Trump slump” at all. In fact, I think it is kind of catchy. You shouldn’t be so sensitive about something clever like that.

  3. For Sure Not Tom

    We need to get Huppenthal (aka the sway-doo-nym guy) on this ASAP.

    Big Orange said he’d fix ALL of our problems, in fact, he said he was the ONLY one who could fix all our problems.

    Falcon9, true Trump believer that you are, please help us! Our Trump cult Kool Aid bucket has sprung a leak!