While those figures wrote the headlines, overlooked ones told the broader economic story. The unemployment rate stayed at historically low levels of just 3.7 percent. Simultaneously, labor force participation continued to rise, reaching 63.2 percent, while average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent over the last year.
For the large majority of Americans, these are the real economic variables, the DJIA or GDP being relevant only in so far as they affect these basic household ones. The reason is simple: For a prolonged period, having a job has been a dicey question for too many.
It is through that prism, and particularly in comparison with this recent past, that the current economy looks so good for Trump.
At the same point during the Obama administration, and almost two years (Q3 of 2009) after the economy had begun growing again, August 2011 unemployment stood at 9.1 percent. There were 14 million unemployed then, compared to today’s 6 million.
Even comparing August 2016, President Obama’s eighth year in office, Trump’s economy looks strong. Just three years ago, unemployment was 4.9 percent, the number of unemployed were 7.8 million — almost 2 million more than today.
Additionally, those higher figures came despite a lower labor force participation rate: 62.8 percent versus 63.2 percent today. This resulted in 6.3 million fewer Americans working then: 151.6 million versus 157.9 million today. To cap it, in August 2016, hourly wages had increased just 2.4 percent over the previous year, compared to 3.2 percent today.
The secondary comparisons are just as telling.
Lots of good data — read the whole thing.
Related, from yesterday: Trump’s 2020 Game Plan Preview.
OUT: NO JOBS FOR BURLY MEN.