Andy Puzder: No, the May jobs report does not mean the Trump economy is on the brink

The undisguised glee with which Democrats have greeted an anomalous hiccup in the labor market just goes to show how incredibly strong the U.S. economy has been under President Trump.

According to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the booming U.S. economy added fewer new jobs than experts expected last month, with businesses expanding payrolls by a net 75,000 positions.

The liberal media are naturally trying to portray this as evidence that the economy is faltering. But the very fact that they’re complaining about the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs in a single month is a powerful rebuttal to their biased premise. Apparently, the Trump economy has been so transformative that journalists are unable to recall what it felt like before the stretch of prosperity we’ve enjoyed for the past two years.

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CNBC, for instance, reported that “job creation decelerated strongly,” even as it correctly conceded that overall economic data remain strong.  The New York Times headline was “Jobs Report Is Weak, With Gain of 75,000; Unemployment Rate Still 3.6%.”

The unemployment rate is still 3.6 percent – but that’s a 50 year low and the 15th straight month of unemployment at or below 4 percent. In this low unemployment environment, adding 75,000 new jobs was certainly progress.

The number of weekly jobless claims has also remained stable while hovering near a 50 year low. With employers competing for employees as the economy grows, in May workers had their 10th straight months of year-over-year wage growth of at least 3 percent providing further evidence of labor market health. All in all, a very positive report. 

In fact, there are other indications that our economy is getting even stronger. Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that worker productivity, which is a major determinant of both economic growth and wage increases, grew at an impressive 3.4 percent in the first quarter of this year. That’s more than double the post-Great Recession average, and even higher than the 2.7 percent average increase recorded between 2000 and 2007.

The Democrats and their liberal media mouthpieces get very excited these days when the economy doesn’t break new records – they consider this as a rare chance to attack President Trump's economic agenda. The Democrat-media complex hyperbolizes even relatively minor economic setbacks because they know that presidents – such as President Trump – who achieve meaningful economic success often win re-election.

Predictably, the latest BLS report has triggered exactly the type of exaggerated response that you would expect from the Democrats and the liberal media. We’ve gone through this routine before. In February, for instance, the labor market also added fewer jobs than expected, triggering dire predictions in the mainstream media of an economic slowdown.

The New York Times, argued that the “recent blockbuster readings on U.S. job creation were a little too good to be true,” pessimistically noting that “American employers, while still adding to their payrolls, have not been on the epic hiring spree that previous reports had suggested.”

However, in March the hiring spree went right back to its “epic” ways, creating 21,000 more jobs than economists had predicted. The following month, the labor market performed even better, creating 73,000 more jobs than expected and sending the unemployment rate to its lowest level since 1969, where it remained in May.

Thanks to President Trump’s economic agenda, America is approaching full employment – meaning that virtually every working-age adult who wants a job either already has one or is in the process of transitioning to a new and better one.

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The Democrats and the biased media will nonetheless do their best to downplay the historic achievements of the Trump economy, but nothing they say can change the fact that Americans are far better off today than they have been for a long time and certainly better off than they were three years ago.

As I’ve said before, the Democrats economic argument is increasingly: “Who are you going to believe, us or your wallets?”

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