With markets teetering on a balance of tax giveaways to the rich and cuts to services while the US runs up its highest debts in history, the miracle of Trump’s solid job numbers is finally revealed. He lied about that the same way he lied about everything else.
The US Labor Department said Wednesday that nearly two-thirds of the downward revision came from the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors, the industries most associated with consumer spending.
The newly revised figures indicate the economy didn’t get a huge boost last year from President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and higher federal spending.
The new figures also could have political implications and complicate the Trump administration’s message of a strong economy, as they suggest that job growth was slowing as the expansion approached its tenth anniversary. Some of this slowdown would be natural given the length of the expansion.
Employment in several industries was revised down especially sharply.
Retailers had 146,400 fewer jobs, while leisure and hospitality, which includes hotels and restaurants — had 175,000 fewer workers.
Business services, health care, construction and manufacturing were also lower than first reported. But other sectors had their job totals upwardly revised.
Employers in government, financial services, information and transportation and warehousing hired more workers than originally reported.
This was the sharpest downward revision in jobs totals since 2009, when the economy was just starting to emerge from the Great Recession.
The revised payroll data is more in line with what economists had expected at the start of 2018 in light of the roughly 4% unemployment rate that signaled fewer available workers, and an aging population.
“The mystery was how the economy is continuing to get 200,000 jobs a month,” says economist James Marple of TD economics. “It’s less of a mystery now.”
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