“Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone,” said Trump.
The unemployment rate has fallen under Trump, from 4.7 per cent in December 2016 to 4.1 per cent in December 2017, a very low rate by historical standards. But this is a continuation of the downward trend since 2010. If anybody deserves the credit, it is the Federal Reserve, for policies which are often condemned by the Republicans.
Figures wise, eighty-six per cent of men aged 25-54 had jobs in December 2017. This is a percentage point higher than a year earlier, but 5.6 percentage points higher than in January 2010. Unfortunately, it is still below the previous cyclical peaks of nearly 90 per cent in 1999 and 88 per cent in 2007. The proportion of prime-aged women with jobs is also below levels in 2000.
“The reason our stock market is so successful is because of me” claims Trump.
The president has explicitly and implicitly asserted that the rising stock market, which frequently reached record highs in the 14 months following his election, was a direct result of his being in office.
It is true that stock market valuations have been on the rise since the 8th of November 2016. The S&P 500 index of the leading 500 American companies is up around 22 per cent over that time. That equates to an rise in value of around $4 trillion.
But the suggestion that this increase can be exclusively attributed to Trump is debatable. European stock markets have also been up since the US election, reflecting a generally stronger global economic outlook.
Trump has mentioned the stock market approximately 200 times since winning the election. Yet in February, he went silent on stocks as they posted a pair of their worst single-day point performances in history, falling more than 1,800 points.
“They get the expansion. We get the joblessness,” Trump said of trade deals with foreign countries. “That’s the way it works — not going to happen anymore.”
Trump the presidential candidate railed against the US current account deficit, claiming its vast size represented the extent to which Americans were being ripped off by foreigners through bad trade deals. He promised that he would put this right by tearing up and renegotiating these deals.
There has been some pretty serious action on this point. To begin with, Trump picked a fight with Canada over timber imports. Fast forward to present time, and the world is anxiously waiting to see if the potential U.S./China trade war will materialise.
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