Trump May Be on Shaky Ground. But His Economy Appears Rock-Solid.
Published in The Washington Post
on October 4, 2019
President Trump is on the rocks over the Ukraine-gate scandal. But Friday’s jobs numbers show the economy is not.
The unemployment rate is the key number to note. It dropped to a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. That’s a superb result, one not many people expected to see when the president took office. No one president should ever take credit for economic outcomes, but it’s also pretty clear that Trump’s policies have helped spur continued growth in what is now the United States’ longest economic expansion on record.
Critics will point to the relatively low number of jobs added as a sign of future weakening. It’s true that the report showed only 136,000 jobs were gained last month, lower than recent trends. But the underlying employment data suggest this might be as much a result of an extremely tight labor market as a tariff-related slowdown.
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Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.