By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) Writing in Forbes earlier this month, Chuck Jones, who covers technology, the global economy and the stock market as a contributor, made somewhat of a controversial claim: Though POTUS Donald Trump is earning high praise for his jobs-friendly economic policies, President Obama actually added more jobs to the economy than the current commander-in-chief.
Specifically, Jones notes:
Trump entered office on January 20, 2017, and starting with February 2017 he has been President for 29 months. Total job growth during that time has been 5.613 million or 194,000 per month with those results being helped by the tax cut.
Working back from January 2017, Obama’s last month in office, there had been 6.423 million jobs added or 221,000 per month. The difference for the 29 months is 810,000 more jobs or 27,000 more per month than Trump.
Note that back in January this year the total difference was only 194,000, which means over the past five months it has increased by 616,000. And looking at the next six months with Obama’s job numbers of 188,000 to 327,000 per month, the gap should only increase and cross 1 million.
So, Obama was the ‘jobs president,’ according to Jones — right?
Yes…and no. Jones is technically correct but let’s put his claims in context.
First of all, when Obama took office the U.S. economy was shedding jobs fast as the housing and financial markets were melting down. Shortly after he took office, total unemployment around the country soared past 10 percent.
When Trump won and when he officially took office, the unemployment rate had improved to 4.7 percent. Pretty good, but even a dive into those figures reveals that the job situation in America wasn’t anything like it is now.
For one, according to a December 2016 study by Harvard and Princeton universities, an astounding 94 percent of all 10 million new jobs created during Obama’s eight years in office were temporary positions:
The study shows that the jobs were temporary, contract positions, or part-time “gig” jobs in a variety of fields.
Female workers suffered most heavily in this economy, as work in traditionally feminine fields, like education and medicine, declined during the era.
The research by economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard University and Alan Krueger at Princeton University shows that the proportion of workers throughout the U.S., during the Obama era, who were working in these kinds of temporary jobs, increased from 10.7% of the population to 15.8%.
Under Obama, 1 million fewer workers, overall, are working than before the beginning of the Great Recession.
Since POTUS Trump took office, the unemployment rate has hovered around 4 percent and even below that, leading economists to note that the country is now essentially at full employment. And the jobs are much better — they are full-time, they pay better on average, and all demographics — whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians — are employed at record numbers under this president than under the last one.
As Matt Palumbo at Bongino.com notes:
…[T]he Trump economy is so strong that the unemployment rate is below what the estimated minimum unemployment rate is. The St. Louis Federal Reserve calculates that the natural rate of unemployment is currently 4.6%, while the actual unemployment rate (as of June) is 3.6%. Because the unemployment rate is already below its theoretical minimum, we can essentially only add more jobs each month consistent with population growth (or proportional to the labor force participation rate increasing).
Or to give an impossible hypothetical to illustrate this point further; if the Trump economy were to be at the point where every single person was employed, nobody needed to change jobs, and there was no population growth, there would be zero jobs added per month, but that wouldn’t be reflective of economic weakness (quite the opposite).
- Entrepreneurship is great again, with over 150,000 more business applications being filed each quarter over trend.
- Investment in small businesses is $300 billion higher than we would’ve seen had the trend Obama set continued (as of September 2018).
- Blue collar employment would’ve declined had it continued its Obama-era trend. Instead, it’s grown and broken that trend Obama set. Blue collar employment is growing at the fastest rate since 1984.
- And as the economy booms, not only are the unemployed finding work, those who previously gave up looking for work are reentering the labor force. As they enter the labor force, they’re easily finding jobs, since there are more job openings today than unemployed people.
And in terms of overall wealth, Americans are worth more today than when Obama left office, thanks to the historic rise in the stock market, where tens of millions of Americans have retirement accounts.
Obama never saw a single quarter of economic growth of 3 percent. It took POTUS Trump exactly two quarters in office to achieve that level.
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