As media headlines focus on underperforming areas of the economy, the early story is not getting told. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released some revised employment numbers showing 500,000 fewer jobs were created than initially reported.
Earlier reports claimed the economy added about 230,000 jobs a month between March 2018 and April 2019. The new numbers suggests only about 180,000 jobs a month were added.
Those updated figures are based on state unemployment insurance records. The original data came from surveys of hundreds of thousands of work sites.
“We have almost eight million more jobs than workers. We have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, the lowest inflation rate in 50 years, and the highest wage gains in 20 years. That doesn’t sound like an economy that’s doing poorly to me. In fact, that sounds like a blockbuster economy,” economist Stephen Moore told CBN News.
Despite fears of a future economic downturn, Trump is getting some decent approval from voters on his handling of the economy.
A new poll by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows Trump’s overall support at 36 percent, but he has a 46 percent approval rating on his handling of the economy. Other polls still show the president’s overall performance nearing 49 percent overall. As polls go, they’re all over the place with little more credibility than they were left with after the 2016 election.
But negative media reporting is having an impact on the public’s view of the economy.
Mandi Mitchell, a 38-year-old registered Democrat from North Carolina offered a mixed review of Trump. She says, “Our unemployment rate has definitely dropped.” She indicated she might even vote for Trump in 2020. “I’m not going to be too hard on him. I just think he doesn’t address America properly.”
Other voters say even if the economy does well, they’re more upset with the way he talks. John Sollenberger, 67, of Philadelphia, says he left the GOP and became an independent because of Trump. “He foments discontent with so many people it doesn’t matter what the economy’s doing really.”
Meanwhile, the tariff showdown with China continues to weigh on the minds of some investors.
China appealed to Washington on Thursday to “meet each other halfway” and settle a trade war instead of going ahead with planned tariff hikes Beijing warned will trigger retaliation.
Even though talk of trade wars and the economy has some economists and politicians saying the US will suffer for President Trump’s strong stand, FreedomWorks economist Stephen Moore believes China will take the harder hit and the economy is really going to be okay.
“Has the economy hit a few bumps in the road? Absolutely yes,” Moore says, pointing to the trade war with China specifically. “This probably is hurting the economy in the short term, but not enough to send the economy into recession. And once the trade deal gets done, the economy will really boom.”
“The trade war has hurt the United States, but it’s clobbered China,” he said. “China is getting hurt way more than we are by this. …There’s a big disinvestment in China. Businesses are moving out of China, moving to Vietnam, India, Singapore to avoid the tariffs. So China is getting hit hard and hopefully they will come to their senses.”
The United States has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese products. Beijing retaliated with its own penalties on $110 billion of goods from the United States.
US and Chinese negotiators are due to meet in September in Washington.