President Donald Trump regularly touts the economy as supposed evidence of the great things his time in office is doing for the United States. However, now there are yet another set of indicators pointing to an economic state well below the utopia Trump claims — literally, sometimes, having referred to himself as “the chosen one” this week. As that unfolds, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has significantly revised its 2018 job growth estimates for 2018, slashing their total by more than half a million. The subtraction of 501,000 is their biggest after-the-fact cut in a decade.
Naroff Economic Advisers chief economist Jor Naroff shared with USA Today:
‘It’s a moderate economy. It’s not a strong economy.’
That puts a definite pin in some of Trump’s political ambitions. He has routinely pointed to jobs growth numbers alongside the economic growth rate as evidence of his supposed success. He stayed mostly silent when 2018’s economic growth rate was revised downward from 3 percent though — and considering precedent, he’s not exactly likely to discuss the nuances of this latest jobs report at an upcoming campaign rally. The shift in overall estimate means that the U.S. economy added about 170,000 jobs every month of fiscal year 2018, rather than the previously estimated 210,000.
The difference stems from the agency procuring more precise numbers. At first, they were running on surveys, but now, they’ve also implemented state unemployment insurance data. Economists had long been perplexed at the jobs growth numbers for 2018, considering unemployment was significantly low to start the year so where employers were getting all these new workers was a “mystery.”
Some industries actually suffered overall jobs numbers losses over 2018, according to USA Today‘s recap. In leisure and hospitality, jobs fell by 175,000, and retail job fell by 146,000. Trump came very close to dealing retail yet another blow recently with plans for tariffs on many more goods coming from China. Considering the fact that — no matter what Trump says — American businesses pay these import taxes, and they can translate into higher prices for consumers in the upcoming holiday shopping season, Trump paused some of the tariffs.
It took Trump months to even admit that there was a possibility of Americans suffering the effects of his punitive import taxes, which he’s rolled out against Chinese goods and ones from many other places. In the time since, damage has already been done. In June alone, one recent study claimed that American businesses had lost a full $3.4 billion they’d have otherwise had thanks to the tariffs.
Trump has freely gotten so extreme all the same that he’s threatened not that long ago to impose tariffs on every single good coming from Mexico or just close off their entire border with the United States. To suggest that step would cripple the North American economy would be an understatement — the numbers are not there to back up Trump’s claims that actually, he’s working wonders. In fact, some economists are predicting an incoming recession in the wake of the volatility sparked by his trade wars, a reality that he and his advisers still struggle to even acknowledge.
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