Trump’s poli­cies are work­ing for work­ers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Perspectives - An ed­i­to­rial from In­vestor’s Busi­ness Daily

The lat­est ex­pec­ta­tion-shat­ter­ing jobs re­port isn’t a fluke. It’s an­other sign that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s eco­nomic poli­cies are im­prov­ing the lives of mid­dle-class fam­i­lies.

The 304,000 gain in jobs in Jan­uary re­ported by the La­bor Depart­ment was nearly twice the con­sen­sus es­ti­mate. And it comes af­ter De­cem­ber’s big gains.

The jobs pic­ture is so strong that it’s pulling peo­ple in who’ve been sit­ting on the side­lines.

In fact, for the first time in more than 20 years, the num­ber of peo­ple who are out of the la­bor force — those with­out jobs and not look­ing — shrank by 647,000 over the past 12 months. So many peo­ple are re­turn­ing to the la­bor force that the of­fi­cial un­em­ploy­ment rate is go­ing up, even as the job mar­ket booms.

This comes, mind you, at a time when baby boomers are re­tir­ing en masse. Un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, in con­trast, the num­ber of la­bor force dropouts ex­ploded by 14.4 mil­lion.

Job growth is ac­cel­er­at­ing, nearly 10 years af­ter the last re­ces­sion ended. Job cre­ation av­er­aged 179,000 a month in 2017, and 223,000 last year. In the past four months, it’s av­er­aged 250,000. Last year, the econ­omy cre­ated 1.3 mil­lion more jobs than main­stream econ­o­mists ex­pected.

To say this is un­usual so late in an eco­nomic ex­pan­sion — and while the Fed is busy tamp­ing growth with rate hikes — is an un­der­state­ment. Job growth typ­i­cally ex­plodes in the first few years af­ter a re­ces­sion, as the econ­omy re­ab­sorbs dis­placed work­ers while cre­at­ing jobs for new la­bor force en­trants. Then growth tends to slow.

The La­bor Depart­ment also re­ported that pri­vate sec­tor wages and salaries climbed 3 per­cent last year — the big­gest an­nual in­crease in a decade. Un­der Mr. Obama, pri­vate sec­tor wage gains av­er­aged just 2 per­cent.

Why now, this late in the game?

The an­swer is sim­ple.

For eight years, Mr. Obama kept promis­ing “bot­tom-up growth,” while telling the coun­try that tax cuts and dereg­u­la­tion would ben­e­fit only the rich. But his poli­cies — Dodd-Frank, Oba­macare, higher taxes, a reg­u­la­tory tsunami — pro­duced eco­nomic stag­na­tion. As it al­ways does, that stag­na­tion hurt the work­ing class most.

Mr. Trump went in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. His pro-growth tax cuts, dereg­u­la­tory cam­paign and pro-en­ergy poli­cies fu­eled huge in­creases in eco­nomic op­ti­mism and tur­bocharged the econ­omy. And now we’re see­ing real job growth and strong wage gains for the first time in more than a decade.

You tell us which ap­proach is prov­ing to be more worker friendly.

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