November 3, 2018

Friday’s Jobs Report, and the Two Years Since Trump’s Election (Update: Lowest Unemployment Rolls Since Summer of 1973)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:18 pm

Friday’s strong jobs report was the 24th issued since Donald Trump’s election, and the 21st covering full months he has been in office.

Among Friday’s highlights:

  • It took until a year after the election before it started happening, but the civilian labor has finally been expanding, with 860,000 entering the labor force in the past 2 months, and 2.266 million in the past 12.
  • Meaningful wage growth is finally on the verge of occurring. As explained Wednesday, if energy price increases mitigate or start to fall (and as long as inflation remains generally in check), the average person and family will start to feel the benefit of the nominal 3 percent-plus increases we’re seeing in wages (and those raw increases also appear to be on the verge of growing).
  • A record low Hispanic unemployment rate of 4.4 percent. Before the Trump administration, this rate only came in below 5.0 percent one time, turning in a 4.8 percent result in October 2006. It’s been been below 4.8 percent in each of the past five months. It was 5.7 percent on Election Day in 2016.
  • A black/African-American unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. Though that’s about the record low of 5.9 percent seen in May, this rate never came in below 7.0 percent (which was seen just once, in April of 2000) until Trump took office. It’s been below 4.8 percent in each of the past nine months. It was 8.3 percent on Election Day in 2016
  • October’s unemployment rate for 20-and-over black women came in at 4.9 percent, the second-lowest on record. The lowest? May’s 4.7 percent. This rate was at 6.9 percent on Election Day in 2016.

The left, with former President Barack Obama leading the charge, has been trying to take credit for all of this as a mere continuance of momentum their policies generated.

That’s nonsense:

  • When they were anticipating staying in power in 2016, they were arguing that the benchmark for full employment should be 5.0 percent, or even 5.5 percent. Yet here we are with unemployment at 3.7 percent, with some predicting a potential low of 3.0 percent, and an economy has added almost 4.6 million full-time jobs in the past 21 months.
  • They were arguing that structural changes in the economy meant that the best we could hope for in long-term growth was about 2 percent per year. Yet here we are with every quarter since the second of 2017 showing growth above that, and an average of almost 4 percent in the past two quarters.
  • The press and Obama insisted that the manufacturing and blue-collar jobs that were lost in the past two decades weren’t ever coming back. Yet manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs in the past 12 months, and mining another 65,000.

Since Trump’s election, the focus has been on growing the economy instead of shackling it. The difference shows.


UPDATE, November 4: Another item which shouldn’t be ignored is the historic lows recently seen in unemployment claims. On top of that, the number of people collecting unemployment is at its lowest level since the summer of 1973, even though 2-1/2 times more Americans are now in the “covered Workforce.”



  1. The last item has a bit of a typo. The covered employment in the summer of 1973 is about 42.7% of what it is now (or now is about 234.4% of what it was then).

    The insured unemployment rate (currently 1.2%) has been on a steady downward trend since summer 2009 (when it topped out at 5.0%), beating the pre-Great Recession low of 1.6% (set briefly in 2000) starting in late 2016.

    Comment by steveegg — November 5, 2018 @ 12:26 pm

  2. Thanks for the catch. Rephrased.

    Comment by Tom — November 5, 2018 @ 6:05 pm

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