The economic ‘mess’ Trump says he inherited continues to add jobs

The economy added 235,000 jobs in February, the 76th straight month of job creation.

CREDIT: iStock
CREDIT: iStock

The economy added 235,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.7 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s the first job report to measure the economy under President Trump.

While Trump has said he “inherited a mess,” February’s job report marks the 76th straight month of job creation, the longest streak since 1939, with 2.2 million jobs added over the course of last year.

Trump retweeted a Drudge report headline touting the number of jobs added in February that said, “GREAT AGAIN.” But the economy added 238,000 jobs in the last report of Obama’s presidency.

Last month, a large number of jobs were added in construction (58,000), professional and business services (37,000), private educational services (36,000), manufacturing (28,000), and health care (27,000). All of them continued recent trends of increasing employment.

Retail, a sector that typically adds jobs, actually lost 26,000 in February, perhaps a sign of troubles among large stores like Macy’s and Lowe’s.

Other measures of the economy showed positive signs. The share of people without a job and looking for work, those who had given up their job search, and those with part-time work who want to work full time dropped from 9.4 percent o 9.2 percent in February and is down from 9.8 percent the year before.

Wages increased at a slightly healthier rate than in January, rising 0.2 percent and coming to a 2.8 percent annual rate of increase. But even January’s originally reported increase of 3 cents was revised upward to 5 cents. Wage growth has been mostly flat since the recession, but last year started to show signs of growth, particularly for those who make less and in states that raised their minimum wages.