The crucial midterm elections aren’t until November, but February’s jobs report might be the best sign yet that Democrats are going to be in for a big disappointment.
According to numbers released by the Labor Department on Friday, the country added 313,000 jobs in February, more than one-third greater than economists expected and an undeniable signal that Trump’s economic policies are pulling the country out of the eight-year malaise of Barack Obama’s presidency.
And for Democrats hoping November’s results will reflect poorly on the White House, the news couldn’t be worse.
The stock market immediately jumped on what MarketWatch called a “reflection of the strongest labor market in two decades.” Even news outlets not known for their support for the Trump administration were forced to report the upbeat assessment.
The reliably liberal USA Today called the report “blockbuster.”
The New York Times, the unofficial house organ of the Democratic Party, called it “good news, with impressive employment gains.”
And even the Trump-loathing CNN couldn’t find fault, quoting Cathy Barrera, chief economist at the job recruitment site ZipRecruiter, as hailing the report.
“The headline number is pretty outstanding,” Barrera told the network.
It’s more than the headline number, though.
As USA Today reported, the report far exceeded expectations. (Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted about 200,000 new jobs.)
The report found that more Americans are returning to the work force after dropping out during the Obama years. Of course, that meant more competition for jobs, and wage growth wasn’t what workers might like to see, but no sane American would prefer a country on food stamps to a country working for its livelihood. (Democrats would, but that’s where the “sane” part comes in.)
The unemployment rate for all Americans held at a low 4.1 percent. Among black Americans, it dropped to 6.9 percent from January’s spike of 7.7 percent, so liberals like Maxine Waters will have to find a new way to attack Trump.
As USA Today summarized:
“It’s hard to ask for a better jobs report. The 313,000 jobs added was the most since July 2016. About 800,000 people, including many on the sidelines, were encouraged to jump into the hot labor market. Sure, wage growth slowed, but it still was up 2.6% annually, which is up from the tepid 2.5% pace of the past couple of years.”
And all of that adds up to bad news for Democrats as the midterm campaigns start to coalesce. And Democrats know it.
As one Twitter user put it:
— Rightwingmadman (@Rightwingmadman) March 9, 2018
For all the “Russia, Russia, Russia” jabber that occupies the mainstream media and congressional nitwits like California Democrat Adam Schiff, jobs reports like February’s are where the rubber meets the road of American politics.
And if the February jobs report is any indication, Americans are going to like the road Trump’s policies are paving well enough to vote for Republicans who pledge to support those policies.
It’s no coincidence that the sterling jobs report is coming only two months after the Trump tax cuts were passed without a single Democrat vote.
It was Democrat strategist and Bill Clinton hatchet man James Carville who memorably coined the phrase, “the economy, stupid,” which became a Clinton watchword during the 1992 campaign. (Even if the 42nd president sometimes forgot it once he was out of office.)
Carville’s faults were legion – starting with his favored political party – but when he was right, he was right.
The economy is the No. 1 issues for American voters, and if gains from the February jobs report hold steady, and the stock market keeps even close to the record-setting strength its shown since Trump’s presidency started, Democrats hoping for a “blue wave” come November are in for a big disappointment.
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