by Robert Romano
The U.S. economy added another 3.7 million jobs in the month of August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey of Americans reporting they have jobs, bringing the total up to 13.8 million jobs that have been recovered since labor markets bottomed in April, something almost nobody but President Donald Trump was predicting.
At the worst of the coronavirus recession, as many as 25 million jobs were lost by April, and now more than half of those jobs have been regained, as a V-shaped recovery has clearly formed.
In just four short months, almost 14 million jobs have come back in the Trump-Pence economy — thanks to President Trump’s leadership to stabilize the pandemic and get the U.S. economy safely reopened for business.
For perspective, in the Obama-Biden economy, it took almost five years to recover the 8 million jobs that were lost in the financial crisis and Great Recession.
The reason is President Trump had the considerable foresight to work with Congress to implement necessary economic supports, including payroll protection for 5.2 million small businesses that Trump credited with the recovery in his acceptance speech stating, “Thanks to our Paycheck Protection Program, we have saved or supported more than 50 million American jobs. That’s one of the reasons that we’re advancing so rapidly with our economy.”
In addition, unemployment benefits were expanded, critical industries such as airlines were supported and state and local governments were reinforced. Foreclosures and evictions were postponed, and banks were encouraged to grant homeowners forbearance on their mortgages. All this in a bid to encourage Americans to temporarily stay home while an adequate pandemic response including testing and ventilator production was put into place.
Looking forward, on the pandemic side of the question, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is projecting cases they will remain relatively stable until mid-to-late September when the cold and flu season gets going again.
Also of note, on the establishment survey which asks employers how many people are on the payroll, businesses report 10.6 million jobs recovered since April. The difference between the two surveys is the establishment survey doesn’t count everyone like those self-employed. For that reason in February before the pandemic closures, the household survey reported 158.75 million Americans having jobs, while the establishment survey reported 152.46 million Americans working. Those differences are well-known, and it might mean the household survey is more relevant to the American people.
The U.S. economy contracted an annualized, inflation-adjusted 31.7 percent in the second quarter as the pandemic was washing over us, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Now, the Atlanta Federal Reserve is projecting a 29.6 percent expansion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter — the last major economic report that will be released right before the election. The Trump-led jobs recovery is clearly what’s playing into that.
With more good news, an additional 765,000 Americans left unemployment the week of Aug. 22, according to the latest data from the Department of Labor. Because that is occurring later in the month, it may not fully factor into the monthly data until the September jobs report out the first week of October.
Meaning, when the September report gets factored in, it should be another gangbuster number. On March 25, the President predicted, “I don’t think it’s going to end up being such a rough patch. I think it’s going to, when we open — especially, if we can open it — the sooner, the better — it’s going to open up like a rocket ship. I think it’s going to go very good and very quickly.”
President Trump was right, and now there is no stopping the economic recovery. In fact, this is unquestionably the most rapid economic recovery in American history. It should benefit him politically as the presidential campaign against former Vice President Joe Biden wears on. Stay tuned.
– – –
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.