President Trump has cautioned the results of February’s job report are not reflective of the bolstering economy and claimed it stands on the edge of an upcoming job growth spike.
The president’s words followed the release of the Labor Department’s monthly report for the month of February showing there were only 20,000 jobs added to the economy.
This figure is “the smallest monthly gain in nearly a year and a half and far short of the 180,000 economists had predicted,” Politico reports.
And, “The weak report was released amid signs of slowing economic growth and was a stark contrast to the 311,000 jobs added in January, which Trump lauded as a victory at the time.”
Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, Trump said the jobs report included some good news: rising wages.
He said despite the meager bump in the number of new jobs, wages continue to rise for the “first time in many years.”
“I think the big news really was that wages went up. And that’s great for the American worker,” he said, as Politico reports. “That’s something people — I don’t know if they ever expected to see it.”
Here’s more, from Politico:
The president also mentioned the stock market and unemployment rate, which dropped from 4 percent in January to 3.8 percent last month, as signs of a strong economy.
Trump said Friday his administration is in the process of dealing with China, though he also forecast the United States will do very well economically “with or without a deal.”
“I think as soon as these trade deals are done, if they get done — and we are working with China — we will see what happens,” he said. “But I think you are going to see a very big spike.”
President Trump also took to Twitter to praise women unemployment found within the jobs report. The rate is at 3.6 percent, down from 7.9 percent in January 2011, Trump claimed.
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow similarly brushed the monthly job report as “very fluky” and not representative of the economic growth the Trump administration has bolstered. He reportedly attributed the unexpectedly low number of created jobs to timing issues with seasonal jobs and the government shutdown.
“I think you have timing issues with respect to the government shutdown, winter seasonal issues,” Kudlow said to reporters on CNBC. “I wouldn’t pay any attention to it to be honest with you.”
"Very fluky, I wouldn't pay any attention to it to be honest with you," Trump advisor Larry Kudlow reacted to the recent jobs report which showed the worst month for job creation since September 2017. https://t.co/LGutFoxixb pic.twitter.com/s4wT1JhCFD
— CNBC (@CNBC) March 8, 2019
And, from CNBC:
Despite the jobs number, Kudlow said the U.S. economy is still on track for growth of 3 percent or more. “This is all going to be revised up,” he concluded, pointing to overall gains in employment for women and blue-collar workers.
Economists have been quick to point to the fact that the government data has been inconsistent since the 35-day government shutdown and the resulting impact on the workforce.
The latest government employment data came amid growing concerns about a possible global economic slowdown and whether it could be spilling over into the U.S. economy, which advanced 2.9 percent for the calendar year 2018, and 3.1 percent when measured from fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018.