February Jobs: A Trump Bump?
The February jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was a good one for the United States economy, and, as the first full-month report of the new presidency, for the Trump administration.
Non-farm payroll employment rose by 235,000 in February, and the unemployment rate changed little at 4.7 percent. Job gains occurred in construction, private educational services,
manufacturing, health care, and mining.
A survey of economists conducted by Reuters predicted a February surge of only 190,000 jobs.
The report contained good news for the manufacturing sector, with an increased of 28,000 during the month. Employment rose in food manufacturing by 9,000 positions and in machinery by 7,000. The transportation equipment sector lost 6,000 jobs during February.
“Manufacturing has added 57,000 jobs since November,” noted William J. Wiatrowski, acting commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The big winner for the month was the construction sector, which added 58,000 jobs in February, after increasing by 40,000 a month earlier.
President Donald Trump crowed on Twitter: “Great news. We are only just beginning.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2017
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons credited Trump’s policies for the growth in manufacturing jobs.
“Across America, manufacturers’ confidence is high, and business optimism continues to soar, because of President Donald Trump’s laser focus on policies that will accelerate a jobs surge in America,” he said.
But were the February jobs numbers all that remarkable? Yes and no. Yes, they beat economists’ expectations by a mile.
But no, they weren’t any better than what we’ve been seeing recently. In January, the US economy added 238,000 jobs and in September it saw 249,000 new jobs. A year ago, February added 237,000 jobs. So really, the latest jobs numbers are typical for the performance of the US economy over the last few years.