On the Job Number

  • The increase was higher, but in line with that of recent months. Indeed, expectations for the number released were around 200,000. So, to a certain extent, the numbers reflect a continuing, slow improvement in the economy — regardless of who sits in the White House.
  • The first 50 days of Team Trump has been devoted to efforts to making us a pro-business economy. The improved job numbers reflect a rise in consumer confidence, a booming stock market and the promise of new infrastructure jobs.
  • The weather was mild, and appropriately watchful businesses, particularly construction firms, added the biggest number of these jobs. As always, construction jobs necessarily are “temporary.”
  • Hovering over all of this is a pending Federal Reserve vote to increase (again) interest rates, which may counteract some of the job-building effects in coming months.
  • Little of these gains have much to do with talking companies into staying in the U.S. or returning jobs that had moved overseas. Indeed, they reflect job decision-making made in the fall. These numbers don’t reflect the reductions in federal employment expected to take hold.
  • Uncertainty figures in, too. Despite desires for a more pro-business environment, there still is uncertainty for many employers about what health care bill will finally pass the Congress, about the promise of unseen tax cuts, and the uncertainties of a general world situation.

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Terry Schwadron

Terry Schwadron

Journalist, musician, community volunteer