President Obama’s presidency has been hallmarked by stagnant job growth and lackluster economic performance. Even as his approval rating climbed to a respectable percentage right before he left office, his final job report showed that his administration only added 156,000 jobs in the last month of his presidency. His advocates say that this report proves that he provided the results that the country needed to regain confidence in the American economy. However, critics state that the small growth shows signs of confidence thanks to Trump’s election.
The Final Job Report of Obama’s Presidency
Along with creating 156,000 jobs, the economy last month saw wage growth of around nine percent. This small increase means that people are making more money; however, many of those people are still working on a part-time or temporary basis. Even more, the job growth is much lower than what was predicted by economists who thought the final month of Obama’s presidency would see a creation of around 175,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate likewise rose just slightly from 4.6 percent to 4.7 percent. That rate, however, does not take into account the number of people who dropped out of the job market because of dismal economic performance and a lack of jobs in their specialties. The slight uptick of the unemployment rate can also be linked to the number of Baby Boomers who retired or stopped working.
The exit of Baby Boomers from the job market may also account for why wages are up just slightly as opposed to previous months. Employers are willing to invest more money in younger recruits because they speculate that they will get a return on that investment with labor and skills provided to the company.
The increase in wages also indicates that companies are willing to spend more money on employees because of the new administration. Trump’s pro-growth and pro-business policies are expected to create a hiring boom and a need for more workers to flood the American economy.
The Promise of Trump’s Pro-Business Agenda
Since he launched his presidential campaign in summer 2015, Donald Trump made it clear that he would advocate for businesses of all sizes and push for American companies to return overseas jobs back to U.S. soil. He proposes to accomplish this goal by taxing American companies 30 percent at the border when they import their goods back into the country. He also proposes incentives for companies that decide to expand or rebuild businesses and factories in America rather than shipping factories and manufacturing overseas. So far his agenda has paid off with companies like Ford, Fiat, Sprint, and others promising to stay in the country and invest more money in job creation, building new factories, and bettering existing manufacturing plants.
Some economists say that Trump’s ability to create jobs even before he takes office proves that he has what it takes to vastly improve the economy to levels it has not seen since the Reagan era. Many American businesses are taking this as a sign of promise and, as such, have demonstrated more positivism on their part in the decisions they are making right now about their futures. Economists say that Americans should embrace this agenda for the simple fact that the entire country will benefit from it.
Even so, Obama and his followers say that the uptick in the number of jobs and amount of wages being paid should be credited to his White House instead of Trump’s pro-business agenda. They argue that Trump’s economic plans will end up hurting the U.S. and taking jobs away from America’s international partners like Mexico. However, Obama’s worries are not echoed by businesses that now see the American market as more lucrative than ever.
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