Last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its February jobs report. Comparing the Trump administration’s first 26 months of employment data with the last 26 months under Obama is insightful.
Both periods are considered by most economists to be in the mature stage of the business cycle. In Obama’s case, slow economic growth, especially regarding sluggish manufacturing employment, was considered the “new normal.” The national economy grew by 1.6% in 2016, Obama’s last year.
From October 2014 to December 2016, private sector employment grew by 4.4% as the unemployment rate dipped to 4.7%. In the past 26 months, private employers have grown their payrolls by 4.0% as the job market has tightened considerably, with official unemployment dropping to 3.8%.
While overall employment numbers are comparable, the difference in manufacturing is profound. In the last 26 months of Obama’s presidency, manufacturing employment grew by 96,000 or 0.8%. In Trump’s first 26 months, manufacturers added 479,000 jobs, or 3.9%, 399% more jobs than Obama’s record.