More Jobs For All!... Or Only Some? 👔
What's the deal?
In January, 200,000 jobs were added to the economy and hourly wages increased by 9¢, on average. On Thursday, President Trump said “this is just the beginning” of the positive effects of his tax cuts. He also took credit for unemployment being at a record low. Americans can bank on the reliability of this statement - media outlets on all sides are agreeing that both the economy boost and the unemployment decrease are thanks to tax cuts.
Not adding up 🖩
The excitement over job growth comes amidst news of black unemployment rates increasing, making some skeptical of the true effects of the tax cuts. In his SOTU address President Trump said, “African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded”. However, recent January data shows a huge uptick, with black unemployment going from 6.8% to 7.7% in under a month, which many say negates the improvements made in 2017. Yikes!
Washington Times: Employers added 200,000 jobs in January; wages rising faster
The right is thrilled with the news and focuses on the “200,000” jobs number. As for the black unemployment rate, the right sees it as a standard one-month change that can be caused by a number of factors, like weather or sickness. The Director of the National Economic Council said that if rises in black unemployment become a trend, then “it’s very concerning”, but if this is a “one month blip, it’s not concerning.”
The left spins the job-growth news to focus on the spike in “black unemployment” and says Trump should not get credit for the unemployment decrease in December. They look at how black unemployment has been steadily decreasing over the past few years, crediting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and call the recent increase in January a bad sign. They believe high black unemployment rate will diminish any positive benefits of the tax cuts.
Should we focus on 200K new jobs or black unemployment?
An increase in jobs and wages is a great accomplishment and we should give Trump credit for making these partially possible through tax cuts. On the other hand, black unemployment increasing by 0.9% is a big deal and we need to keep a careful eye on whether January’s spike is a fluke or a trend. Economic analysts from both sides say that a six month analysis of the unemployment rate will be far more telling.
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