WASHINGTON – Is it the federal government’s hiring freeze on non-essential employees?
Or is it a miracle?
The U.S. debt clock is actually spinning backwards since Donald Trump moved into the White House Jan. 20.
On inauguration day, the debt stood at $19.947 trillion. Since then it has reversed by $68 billion, or 0.3 percent, for the first time in at least 10 years.
What happened in the same period after Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009? The debt rose $320 billion in the same period – an increase of 3.1 percent. Overall, the debt nearly doubled in Obama’s eight years, by far the largest increase in any administration in history.
And that’s hardly the only good economic news for the new administration.
Trump used the first federal jobs report reflecting a full month of his presidency to send a message: He’s already making America great again.
“GREAT AGAIN: +235,000,” Trump posted on his Twitter account in a retweet of a Drudge Report headline on Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released payroll data for February showing the U.S. added 235,000 jobs.
In January some 238,000 jobs were added.
Trump also released a video praising Exxon Mobil Corp. for announcing a $20 billion building spree that would create 45,000 jobs along the Gulf Coast. While the announcement dates back to plans the company was making as early as 2013, Trump took credit, saying it was a sign his policies were already working.
“I said we’re bringing back jobs,” he said. “This is one big example of it.”
During the final year of Obama’s presidency, job gains averaged 187,000 per month.
Still there is more.
Average hourly earnings increased by a healthy 2.8 percent on an annualized basis, with construction leading the way, growing by 58,000, the most in almost a decade, while manufacturing also posted strong gains with 28,000 new jobs.
The performance by the economy exceeded expectations: Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected the economy to add 190,000 jobs.
What can explain so much good news so fast?
“You’re getting more strength in the labor market than I would have anticipated,” said John Canally, chief economic strategist at LPL Financial. “There’s been a burst in animal spirits since Trump was elected.”
A record 152,528,000 Americans were employed in February, 447,000 more than in January, and the labor force participation rate went up, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Sixty-three percent of Americans either held a job or actively looked for one in February, the highest participation rate in 10 months.
Trump promised more manufacturing jobs in America and that’s what he got last month, with the U.S. adding 28,000. So far in 2017 (January and February), the U.S. has gained 39,000 manufacturing jobs and 25,000 government jobs.