(Reuters) – The final employment scorecard distributed on Friday during President Donald Trump’s administration handed Republicans to a politician no politician would envy: a position with fewer American jobs than when his term began. Will be the only modern president to leave.
Trump – a global epidemic who lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Joe Biden in November – was devastated by the US economy in the final year of his term. . This erased all instances of a rapidly growing employment market, which he hoped would fill the vault in the second term.
Instead, as the Labor Department reported on Friday, total US employment fell from 140,000 to 142.6 million in December, about 10 million fewer jobs than before the coronovirus epidemic.
The economic record books will count January’s employment figures in Trump’s column as she leaves office at the end of the month on 20 January. This month’s data will be reported in early February.
But there is no real expectation that the payroll will rebound enough to close the roughly 3 million jobs gap between December levels and January 2017, when Trump took office.
Graphic: The Trump Job Market: Boom to Bust in a Birth,
Trump’s final year in office coincided with economic superpowers, effectively bringing all of them by COVID-19 and a wave of restrictions on trade and activity to prevent its rapid and deadly proliferation.
The outbreak – which has now infected approximately 21.5 million American residents and killed more than 365,000 – triggered the fastest and deepest recession since World War Two.
The unemployment rate dropped from 3.5% in half a century in February 2020 to 14.8% in just two months as more than 22 million people were forced out of work. While it has come down to 6.7%, it is 2 percent higher than the time when he was sworn in.
On that front, at least, is Trump’s company: He is the third Republican president in a row to step down with a jobless rate higher than his inauguration. President George W. Bush and President George HW Bush both monitored the rising unemployment rate during their terms.
Graphic: The Trump Job Market: Unemployment Rises,
During his first three years in office, Trump frequently pointed to improving the job market for blacks in stump speeches, claiming that no other US president has done as much for the betterment of African Americans.
Some data bears that out. The Black jobless rate fell to 5.2% at the end of 2019 – the Labor Department began tracking it. This was still about 2 points higher than the rate for whites.
As of December 2019, black employment levels had risen by 8.1% in the country from where they held Democrat Barack Obama – the first black president and Trump’s predecessor – in left office. Contrast job growth for the Europeans in that period was 3.3% – although this was from a much larger base.
But COVID-19 erased all of those gains, and while black employment levels have come close to where they were at the beginning of Trump’s term, levels remain down for both blacks and whites.
Graphic: The Trump Job Market: Black and White,
Trump came into office as part of his America-first agenda promising a manufacturing renaissance, under which he raided imported goods and companies that sent factories overseas.
There was some slight improvement in their first three years, a 3.8% increase in total manufacturing employment. But other areas – especially in services – accounted for most of the job gains by then.
And it was for the service sector that COVID-19 hit its hardest.
Jobs, particularly in the leisure and hospitality industries, faced measures to prevent the spread of the disease, and the latest surge in infections has reappeared on the sector. Where 140,000 jobs were moved last month, about 500,000 were comfortably swept away in leisure and hospitality, and total employment in the region is down 18.5% when Trump took the oath of office.
And what about manufacturing? There are 60,000 fewer factory jobs today than in January 2017.
Graphic: The Trump Job Market: Large Variance by Sector,
Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Cynthia Osterman