No one has more confidence in Donald Trump than President Donald Trump himself. The man even believed his election was so impactful as to take credit for job creation and stock market gains that took place before he even instituted policy changes.
Now that the afterglow of the Obama administration has worn off, we are getting a look at the true effect a Trump economy has on job creation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it looks like 33,000 jobs have been lost. That’s a steep decline from the 169,000 added in August.
Trump Can’t Take All the Credit
President Trump makes a target of himself better than anyone else on the planet, in part because he loves to claim credit for things he didn’t do. In the case of this jobs report, however, we must admit it isn’t fair to place all the blame on Trump.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had dramatic effects on the jobs report, which was likely taken at a time when many Americans were off the payroll. Companies certainly were not hiring, and the unemployment rate actually dropped to a longtime low of 4.2 percent. Still, this was the first time the U.S. economy lost jobs in seven years.
Even though Republicans and Democrats agree that the effect of the hurricanes dampened the September report, minimal shifts from the report in August seem to indicate Trump hasn’t managed to stimulate job growth the way he promised to.
Yes, 169,000 new jobs and a steadily low unemployment rate is stable, but this was supposed to be the business-minded president who would invigorate the U.S. economy. Not surprisingly, Trump has already issued a token tweet, this time pointing to the low unemployment number and a stock market all-time high that has very little to do with anything he’s done.
Even with economists and the media reporting the way September’s report was skewed, don’t be surprised to see Trump issue a retort using his favorite medium — social media. While hurricanes make excellent scapegoats thanks to their lack of political affiliation, Trump could look for a way to redirect the fallout from this report to North Korea — or even Senator Bob Corker.
Just the Facts
Despite the grim-looking jobs number, those in need of a raise can take confidence in this report. The low unemployment number bodes well for employees, who become more valuable when employers must look harder to find skilled talent.
Hourly private-sector earnings rose 2.9 percent in September. That’s a significant increase. However, the hurricanes once again come into play because of the way workers who didn’t report into restaurants and manual labor jobs, for example, tend to earn less than those who remained on payroll.
With economists in agreement that job performance remains healthy, the long-anticipated rate hike many experts expect from the Federal Reserve will likely come in December. Experts have speculated unemployment can go as low as 3.7 percent before it begins to spark inflation. If that is true, we still have quite a way to go.
What to Look Forward To
With the holiday season — typically a very positive time of year for the economy — just around the corner, the December report could be the most telling document of 2017 with respect to Trump’s success as a job creator.
The president is also expected to nominate a new Federal Reserve chairman, a position which could have effects on the economy. While it is impossible to know who might get the nod, frontrunners have started to emerge, even with cabinet insiders remaining tight-lipped.
We can only hope that, if nothing else, job creation could be Trump’s thing. Looking at the rest of what he’s done so far, impeachment might be the ideal end to this story for a lot of us. But if that doesn’t happen, we need to find some kind of glimmer of hope for a leader struggling to find footholds on foreign and domestic issues. Only time will tell if Trump will be able to do anything significantly worthwhile during his time in office.
Kate Harveston is a political commentator and blogger. She blogs at onlyslightlybiased.com
She is a regular contributor to ViewsWeek.
Views expressed in this article may not reflect the policy of ViewsWeek