By Tom McDonald
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
The first Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly job numbers are in for the new administration. The highly-anticipated report confirms unemployment remains at a more-than-40-year low with President Donald Trump at the helm.
"Great news," Trump tweeted about the report the day before its official release. "We are only just beginning. Together, we are going to #MAGA!" MAGA is Trump-tweet for Make America Great Again.
The February jobs numbers released March 10 revealed a 4.7 percent unemployment rate. It is the first official account covering a full reporting period with Trump as president. The report shows a continuous trend in lowering unemployment since its peak at 10 percent in October 2009.
"Initial jobless claims, which count the number of people who file unemployment insurance for the first time, remains near multi-decade lows in February," wrote Akin Oyedele for Business Insider, explaining the closely monitored rate fell to its "lowest level" since 1973.
"Also, the rise in business confidence since the election shows…employers are not positioning for an economic downturn," Oyedele wrote. "Surveys of purchasing managers in the manufacturing and services sectors showed…unemployment was still in expansionary territory."
In addition to the government’s jobs report, the ADP Research Institute recently conducted a private payroll survey wherein the findings mirror the reported strength in American employment. Their survey shows a gain of 298,000 jobs. In turn, that report encouraged economists at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to hike their forecasts of jobs gained.
Some economists, however, such as David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff, believe ADP’s numbers to be exaggerated, but even he said the government report "points to strong official numbers."
President Trump has said of previous Bureau of Labor Statistics reports prior to his election, that he thought the unemployment numbers represented by the report were misleading in that they did not show a true picture of the number of unemployed American workers. He was nonetheless encouraged by the current jobs report.
Trump was also encouraged by a LinkedIn's Workforce report on employment. That publication showed January and February were "the strongest consecutive months for hiring in over a year."
Helping business create new jobs and bring jobs back to America that were lost to other countries has been a primary focus of President Trump.
In his recent address to Congress, the president said that making "America first" would solve many problems, including jobs. If citizens and businesses would only "buy American" and "hire American," he said, the nation’s jobs footing would grow stronger.
Even before the BLS report, President Trump was confident the jobs market was improving. As the president-elect, he received a commitment from Carrier, an Indiana-based manufacturing company, that rather than move 1,400 jobs to Mexico the company would keep 1,000 of those jobs in America.
Likewise, only one week before the February jobs report was to be released, AT&T Southwest reached a tentative agreement with its union to hire 3,000 American workers to perform jobs previously in the hands of overseas workers. Moreover, the four-year deal includes wage increases, paid parental leave, and improved health-care benefits for 20,000 AT&T employees. The agreement is scheduled to become effective after approval by the union membership.
President Trump’s emphasis on jobs bodes well for his standing among his constituents. A Rasmussen Reports survey "indicates support for Trump’s job-creating agenda," reports Bob Adelmann in New American.
When 1,000 Americans were asked, Adelmann reports, "Among the action items in the president’s [inaugural] speech, which is most important — creating more jobs, cutting taxes, repealing and replacing ObamaCare, reducing illegal immigration, launching an infrastructure plan to rebuild America’s roads, bridges and tunnels, defeating radical Islam or something else?" they put jobs at the top of the list.
Tom McDonald is a journalist, speaker and thespian. He and his wife, Jill, live in Mesa, AZ.
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