The United States economy came to life during the month of February, adding a whopping 313,000 jobs according to data released on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
This buoyant print – the highest monthly jobs increase since October of 2015 – shattered Wall Street expectations of a gain of 205,000 positions. It also easily eclipsed January’s total of 239,000 new jobs, which was revised upward from 200,000. December’s report was also upwardly revised – from 160,000 to 175,000 new positions.
That’s a net gain of 54,000 new jobs from those two months – in addition to February’s stellar print.
Not surprisingly, U.S. president Donald Trump was ecstatic …
“JOBS, JOBS, JOBS,” Trump tweeted. “#MAGA.”
Here’s a look at the official report …
In addition to the positive data from the BLS establishment survey, the report’s household data was even stronger – revealing 785,000 jobs added. Additionally, the U.S. labor force expanded by 806,000 – pushing the labor participation rate to 63 percent, its highest reading since last September.
Trump backers wasted little time in crediting the gains to the GOP tax cut signed into law last December.
“In the first jobs report since the Trump tax cuts have taken full effect, 785,000 more people reported having jobs, showing that the business tax savings are being invested in expansion and job creation, something the President’s critics said was impossible,” said Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government (GetLiberty.org). “The additional good news is that a large number of these jobs are being created in resource industries, manufacturing and building, activities which are fundamental to robust economic growth. The wealth creation effect of resource-oriented, manufacturing and building jobs, brought on not only by tax cuts by the Trump regulatory reform agenda, gives real hope that our nation’s Gross Domestic Product will finally break through the three percent annual threshold that Obama apologists claimed was no longer attainable.”
Manning’s point is valid …
This news site was critical of the GOP tax plan – arguing it didn’t provide enough tax relief and didn’t target the relief it did provide where it was (is) needed most, middle income earners. We also believe the plan didn’t do enough to curtail runaway government spending.
Our views remain unchanged, although we did support the passage of the plan as a vast improvement over the status quo … and certainly a dramatic improvement over the sort of fiscal policies envisioned by 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Clearly the relief it did provide is having an impact, along with Trump’s trade and regulatory policies.
If this sort of growth can be sustained, watch out … #MAGAnomics might just be for real. Although as we’ve noted in prior coverage, sustaining such growth without an underlying consumer renaissance will be difficult.
Not surprisingly the good employment news sent stocks soaring. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 25,335.74 on Friday, up 440.53 points (or 1.77 percent). The S&P 500 also climbed 47.60 points (1.74 percent) and the Nasdaq jumped 132.86 points (1.79 percent).
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