According to the jobs report that was released on Friday, average hourly earnings for American workers increased 2.7 percent from July 2017 to July 2018.
But that increase lags behind the increase in prices, which went up by 2.9 percent from June 2017 to June 2018, the most recent period for which prices data is available.
That means that the economy Trump described on Tuesday as “the best economy in the history of our country” has actually left workers with less money in their pockets than they had a year ago.
BREAKING–The BLS says average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents in July and by 2.7% for the year. BUT with consumer prices up 2.9% for the year, that means a slight DECLINE in average worker's earnings after factoring in inflation.
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) August 3, 2018
And Trump’s trade war means the rate of price increases isn’t likely to abate anytime soon. As Business Insider details, the price of consumer applications shot up after Trump announced tariffs on washing machines in January, and many other examples since then could be cited:
Since the Commerce Department’s recommendation to impose steel tariffs came on February 16, the price of steel has soared. According to CME Group, the cost of US Midwest Domestic Hot-Rolled Coil Steel — a proxy for domestic steel prices — jumped from $694 just before the recommendation to $907 on Thursday, a 30% increase…
Canadian lumber tariffs were first imposed in April 2017, with additional rounds coming later in the year. The price of lumber used in housing has jumped and is starting to filter down to homebuyers. The National Association of Home Builders, the largest US industry group, warned in April that these tariffs were putting a cost squeeze on builders and making new homes pricier.
Workers are feeling the pinch even after Trump and Republican members of Congress passed tax cuts for the rich late last year that they promised would juice the economy for the middle-class. As ThinkProgress detailed in June, six months after those tax cuts were approved, real average hourly earnings were actually down.
Instead of trickling down to workers like Republicans promised, benefits from the tax cut bill have largely enriched shareholders in the form of stock buybacks.
Beyond wages, Friday’s jobs report shows job growth at its slowest rate in five years.
Today's #JobsReport showed the slowest July job growth in five years for the U.S. economy.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 3, 2018
The White House recently projected that thanks in large part to the tax cuts for the rich, the federal deficit will hit $1 trillion next year.
Nonetheless, Trump and Republicans are pushing another round of tax cuts, with House Republicans saying they intend to vote on more cuts before November’s midterms and the White House indicating it is considering cutting taxes for the wealthy by executive fiat.
Despite myriad indications that the state of the economy isn’t all Trump claims it to be, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to Friday’s jobs report by accusing Democrats of having “Trump Derangement Syndrome” over the “booming Trump economy.”
Trump Derangement Syndrome is becoming a major epidemic among Democrats. Instead of freaking out about the booming Trump economy why not celebrate it?
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) August 2, 2018
“Instead of freaking out about the booming Trump economy why not celebrate it?” she tweeted.