The economy added nearly 300,000 private sector jobs in the first full month of Donald Trump’s presidency – blowing away the expectations of economists and defying many so-called experts who predicted Trump’s presidency would lead to an economic slump.
Employment in the private sector rose by 298,000 jobs in February, according to ADP and Moody’s Analytics. Economists surveyed by ADP had expected 190,000 jobs, Breitbart reports.
President Trump ran a campaign that promised job creation–and the American people strongly believed Trump would be better on jobs than Hillary Clinton. Expert opinion, however, was certain a Trump victory would kill jobs and cause a recession.
“The trade deficit will get larger and that means overall, you might save 100 jobs at Carrier, but overall the jobs in manufacturing we lost will get worse,” Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told CNNMoney in January.
“If [Trump] is elected, I would expect a protracted recession to begin within 18 months. The damage would be felt far beyond the United States,” former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers wrote in a June 2016 op-ed in the Financial Times.
Summers was singing the same tune as recently as January. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davis, Switzerland, Summers warned that Trump’s policies would strengthen the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar–and as a consequence cost thousands of U.S. jobs.
“It is a major change in the relative attractiveness of locating production activity in Mexico, versus locating it in the American heartland, and the consequence of that is measured not in the dozens or hundreds, but in the thousands or ten thousands or even hundreds of thousands of jobs,” he said, according to a CNN Money report.
Today’s jobs numbers are, however, the real economy. And they demonstrate that the notion that Trump’s policies–or mere uncertainty around policy making–would kill jobs appears to have been far off the mark. Far from pulling back, businesses hired just about the maximum number possible in a single month.
“Confidence is playing a large role,” Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told CNBC. “Businesses are anticipating a lot of good stuff – tax cuts, less regulation. They are hiring more aggressively.”
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