The Election Year Economy Is Everything Trump Could Hope For , There was never much doubt that President Donald Trump would make boasts about the economy central to his reelection campaign; that is his style, after all.
What is becoming more clear is that the data on the economy are giving him something genuinely worth boasting about. That was especially evident in the first employment numbers of 2020,
Released Friday morning. It was about as good a jobs report as an incumbent president could hope for nine months before Election Day — and not just in obvious ways. The big headline out of the latest numbers was that employers added 225,000 jobs in January, comfortably more than analysts had expected.
That alone suggests that economic growth is steady at a minimum and maybe accelerating as the year begins. The seemingly bad news in the report —
The unemployment rate ticking up to 3.6% from 3.5% — was actually driven by good underlying trends. The share of adults either working or looking for work rose to 63.4%, its highest level since mid-2013. And the share of adults between ages 25 and 54 who were employed reached 80.6%, its highest since mid-2001.
For years, an open question was whether the many Americans who dropped out of the labor force in the aftermath of the Great Recession would ever come back in. The answer is a resounding yes.
Then there are wages, which have been the weak spot of the employment picture for years. They still are: Average hourly earnings are up only 3.1% over the past 12 months, below the rates being recorded for most of last year (the same measure rose 3.5% for the year ended in August).