Not even Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Joe Biden, could put a negative spin on Friday’s jobs report.
The U.S. economy created some 250,000 jobs in October, beating expectations. The labor participation rate increased even as unemployment held steady at 3.7 percent. That’s a 50-year low. The best part: Wages rose 3 percent in the highest rate of growth since the Great Recession a decade ago. “Pretty much everything you could want in a monthly jobs report,” Bernstein tweeted.
October 2018 is the 97th consecutive month of jobs growth. The trend began with the end of the Great Recession, allowing Barack Obama as well as Donald Trump to take credit for it. The Trump economy is more than the jobs figure, however. Amidst volatility in the financial markets, at the time of writing the Dow is up close to 30 percent since Inauguration Day 2017. The economy grew by 4 percent in the second quarter of this year and 3.5 percent in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. (The third-quarter number will be revised on November 28.) That puts us on track for the best annual growth since 2005.
These are numbers to be proud of. And while it is difficult to say just how much credit goes to President Trump’s tax cuts, deregulation, defense spending, and confidence boosting, we can say that these policies have not impeded the economy. There are reasons to worry—rising debt, uncertainty and unpredictability in trade, a Federal Reserve that might remove the punch bowl too quickly. But for the moment the Trump economy is an undeniable bright spot in a foggy world.
And the moment is important. The midterm election is days away. The fate of the House and Senate is uncertain. Certainly the economy will carry the day for Trump and the Republicans?
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