Jobs Report: Economy Doing Well; Trump: The Economy is a Disaster


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President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room.
Photo Credit: 
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

In 2008, President Obama inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The economy was losing 600,000 to 800,000 jobs every month and unemployment was close to 10%. Now, unemployment has shrunk almost in half and new jobs are being created every month. Somehow, much of the American public still criticizes President Obama for the economy. One of the loudest critics is none other than Donald Trump.

According to the latest jobs report put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is now at 4.6%, the lowest since August 2007. The U.S economy created 178,000 new jobs in November – extending the longest streak of monthly job growth on record. The labor-force participation rate declined to 62.7%, the lowest since the 1970’s. The U.S housing prices hit new record highs. And while there are still some rough spots (manufacturing jobs declined and hourly earnings fell) the economy is much stronger than it had been a decade before.

Looking at the numbers, it would seem that Donald Trump will be inheriting a moderately strong economy, but according to our president-elect, the economy is a disaster. It doesn’t “win anymore.” It is “the tragedy of our times.” But as Trump positioned himself on most issues throughout his campaign, he, and only he, can fix it.

This is how Trump gained many followers. Exaggerate the narrative, peddle conspiracy theories and fake news stories. Paint the present in apocalyptic terms and promise that only he could make it "great again." While the statistics show that the unemployment rate has dipped to below 5%, he has repeatedly called the unemployment rate a hoax. He has peddled a false claim that the government manipulates economic data. During a victory speech after the New Hampshire primary, Trump claimed that the unemployment rate is not actually 5% but more like “28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”

While the American public has been unable to see Obama's successes for what they are, Donald Trump has been able to convince the American public of his successes before they ever take place. The president-elect recently gained headlines for brokering a deal with Carrier to keep jobs in Indiana. The deal will keep around 1,000 jobs in the state, will cost $7 million in tax incentives, and will still move more than 1,000 jobs to Mexico. Yet those praising the president-elect for the Carrier deal, are those most critical of Obama. President Obama has created nearly 16 million new jobs. Compare that to President George W. Bush before him, who created about 400,000 jobs below zero.

Despite what he believes, Donald Trump will inherit the lowest jobless rate in nearly a decade. And in the words of President Obama, "anyone claiming that America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction."

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