President Donald Trump’s claim that he’s created a million jobs finally came true — months after he first made it.
"We’ve added … more than a million private sector jobs," Trump said on June 1, when the Labor Department’s tally was about 600,000. On Monday White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "We’ve created over a million new jobs since [Trump] took office," when DOL’s tally was 863,000.
With the Labor Department reporting Friday that the economy added 209,000 jobs in July, Trump can finally say, truthfully, that he’s created more than a million jobs since entering office. Trump tweeted shortly after the report’s release: "Excellent Jobs Numbers just released – and I have only just begun. Many job stifling regulations continue to fall. Movement back to USA!"
July’s jobs number was a decrease from June, when the economy added 231,000 jobs. But unemployment ticked down to 4.3 percent, compared to June’s 4.4 percent. Average hourly private-sector earnings were up 2.5 percent over the previous year, as they were in June.
The pattern of job growth in 2017 remains essentially the same as in 2016. According to the Labor Department, an average of 184,000 jobs per month have been created this year, compared to 187,000 in 2016. If you eliminate January, when President Barack Obama was still in office, the monthly average is a somewhat lower 179,000.
Analysts reacted positively to Friday’s jobs report. "Kind of all-around strong headline number," Tony Bedikian, head of global markets for Citizens Bank, told CNBC. "More people are coming into the labor force and finding jobs. It’s difficult to find anything really negative in the report."
Experts surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted the creation in July of about 178,000 jobs, an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, and an over-the-year increase in hourly earnings of 2.5 percent. The payroll company ADP estimated Wednesday based on its own records that private-sector job growth in July was 178,000.
The jobs report followed news from the Commerce Department last week that Gross Domestic Product increased 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017, up from the first quarter’s 1.2 percent. GDP grew 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, 2.8 percent in the third quarter and 2.2 percent in the second quarter. Although the second quarter of 2017’s 2.6 percent figure is an improvement over the first quarter, it still falls short of the Trump administration’s goal of “sustained 3% economic growth.”
Commerce’s second cut at estimating second quarter growth is Aug. 30.
Labor force participation remained low at 62.9 percent, up from June’s 62.8 percent, close to its lowest level since the 1970’s.