During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised he’d be the “greatest jobs president God ever created.” And as his administration has become increasingly embroiled in scandal during the first year of his presidency, Trump has routinely fallen back on bragging about the allegedly unbelievable job creation he’s overseen.
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! pic.twitter.com/wAkQMKdPXA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2017
Putting Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet Jones into office in Alabama would hurt our great Republican Agenda of low on taxes, tough on crime, strong on military and borders…& so much more. Look at your 401-k’s since Election. Highest Stock Market EVER! Jobs are roaring back!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2017
Jobs are kicking in and companies are coming back to the U.S. Unnecessary regulations and high taxes are being dramatically Cut, and it will only get better. MUCH MORE TO COME!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2017
But there’s just one problem — according to the latest jobs data, 2017 saw the most anemic job growth in America since Obama’s first term, when the economy was pulling out of the Great Recession he inherited from George W. Bush.
“U.S. job gains slowed by more than forecast in December, wage growth picked up slightly and the unemployment rate held at the lowest level since 2000, adding to signs of a full-employment economy,” Bloomberg reported. “The job gains, while less than forecast, bring the 2017 total to 2.06 million jobs — below 2016.”
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2.06 million jobs created last year were actually the fewest in a year since 2011. Here’s the year-by-year breakdown of jobs added since then.
Even Trump’s favorite TV network — Fox News, which largely covers him uncritically — acknowledges that average monthly job gains during Trump’s first year were the least since 2010.
Average Monthly #Job Gains
— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) January 5, 2018
With an underwhelming job creation record, Trump’s economic brags of late have mostly been about the stock market.
The Fake News Media barely mentions the fact that the Stock Market just hit another New Record and that business in the U.S. is booming…but the people know! Can you imagine if “O” was president and had these numbers – would be biggest story on earth! Dow now over 25,000.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
But the percentage of Americans who own stock is at a historic low — according to research Gallup conducted in 2016, “slightly more than half of Americans (52 percent) say they currently have money in the stock market, matching the lowest ownership rate in Gallup’s 19-year trend.”
In short, stock market gains aren’t necessarily benefiting working-class Americans, and the latest jobs data shows that wages aren’t rising much either. And while Trump is in the habit of touting how the Republican tax cut bill will juice the economy, nonpartisan analyses have concluded that the vast majority of the benefits will accrue to the top one percent.
And as is the case with job creation, Trump’s first-year record with regard to the stock market underperformed Obama’s.
Increase in Dow under:
– Obama from Jan 20, 2009 to Jan 4, 2010: 33.2%
– Trump from Jan 20, 2017 to Jan 4, 2018: 26.5%
Increase in S&P under:
– Obama from Jan 20, 2009 to Jan 4, 2010: 40.7%
– Trump from Jan 20, 2017 to Jan 4, 2018: 20.0% https://t.co/ntJBwnRUvW
— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) January 4, 2018
The 2017 jobs numbers also indicate that Trump is misguided in his oft-professed belief that rolling back regulations creates jobs.
During the Obama years, Trump routinely argued that government data showing the job market steadily pulling out of the Great Recession were fake — he called the BLS’ unemployment rate “one of the biggest hoaxes in American modern politics.” But in March, then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer clarified that while the numbers “may have been phony in the past,” they are “very real now.”
In other words, Trump has already foreclosed the possibility of dismissing his unimpressive job creation record as fake news. Sad!