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.
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.
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.