Two Charts Show Trump's Job Gains Are Just A Continuation From Obama's Presidency

There has been a fair amount of rhetoric about the job growth and lower unemployment rate seen since President Trump took office. Candidate Trump touted that there would be 25 million jobs created over 10 years if he was elected. In January 2017, I wrote that this was a fairly easy campaign promise when you analyze the data and realize that it will only take 2% annual growth of the workforce to hit this target.

This is a review of Trump’s Economic Scorecard before the midterm elections.

President Trump started with a distinct advantage with a workforce of 145.7 million, 9% larger than when President Obama took office. If the workforce were to only grow by 2%, that would add just over 2.9 million jobs a year or 243,000 per month. Over the course of 10 years, there would be over 29 million jobs added.

Additionally, over President Obama’s last six and five years in office after the economy had recovered from the Great Recession, the average employment gains were 2.42 and 2.48 million jobs per year. Pretty much on track to add 25 million over 10 years. So it appears that Trump can reach his 25 million job growth goal even if the economy continued to grow at the pace under Obama .

To provide a monthly comparison, the average employment gain in Obama’s last six years in office (after getting out of the recession's impact) was 201 thousand. And the average for his last five years was 207 thousand, essentially the same as the 208 thousand for the first nine months this year.

Over 2 million jobs added per year for the past 8 years

Below are the employment gains from President Bush’s last four years in office from just before the start of the Great Recession, through President Obama’s and so far through President Trump’s tenure.

Bush’s last four years in office:

  • 2005: 210,000 per month or 2.52 million for the year
  • 2006: 175,000 per month or 2.09 million
  • 2007: 96,000 per month or 1.15 million
    • Last six months averaged 55,000 per month
  • 2008: Negative 297,000 per month (recession takes hold)
    • Lost 3.6 million jobs

Obama’s eight years:

  • 2009: Negative 422,000 per month
    • Lost 5.1 million jobs (teeth of the recession)
  • 2010:  88,000 per month or 1.05 million for the year
  • 2011: 174,000 per month or 2.09 million
  • 2012: 179,000 per month or 2.14 million
  • 2013: 192,000 per month or 2.3 million
  • 2014: 250,000 per month or 3 million
  • 2015: 226,000 per month or 2.7 million
  • 2016: 187,000 per month or 2.24 million

Trump’s through September:

  • 2017: 182,000 per month or 2.19 million
  • Through September 2018: 208,000 per month or 2.5 million run rate
U.S. employment


Unemployment rate has been dropping for 9 years

The unemployment rate shows pretty much the same progression from President Obama to President Trump . The unemployment rate started to climb the last two years of President Bush’s second term and substantially in Obama’s first year as the Great Recession that he had inherited was having a huge impact.

Bush’s last four years in office:

  • December 2005: 4.9%
  • December 2006: 4.4%, decreased 0.5%
  • December 2007: 5.0%, increased 0.6%
  • December 2008: 7.3%, increased 2.3%

Obama’s time in office

  • December 2009: 9.9%, increased 2.6%(teeth of the recession)
  • December 2010: 9.3%, decreased 0.6%
  • December 2011: 8.5%, decreased 0.8%
  • December 2012: 7.9%, decreased 0.6%
  • December 2013: 6.7%, decreased 1.2%
  • December 2014: 5.6%, decreased 1.1%
  • December 2015: 5.0%, decreased 0.6%
  • December 2016: 4.7%, decreased 0.3%

Trump’s through September:

  • December 2017: 4.1%, decreased 0.6%
  • September 2018: 3.7%, decreased 0.4%

The second graph that shows the U.S. unemployment rate continues on essentially the same path even with a slightly higher GDP growth rate (based on trailing four quarters growth).

U.S. unemployment rate



Rep. Kevin McCarthy Deletes Tweet Singling Out 3 Jews Helping Bankroll Democrats

Image result for kevin mccarthy

The Republican leader warned that the wealthy donors are trying to “buy” the midterm election.

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) decided to delete a tweet attacking three Jewish Democrats for “buying” the midterm elections two days after liberal billionaire philanthropist George Soros, one of his targets, was sent a pipe bomb.

The tweet — which also named former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and California businessman and Democratic donor Tom Steyer— was taken down three days before a gunman killed 11 people Saturday in an anti-Semitic attack at The Tree of Life, a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Soros has been accused by right-wing conspiracy theorists of orchestrating everything from the migrant caravan heading to the U.S. border with Mexico, to protests against Brett Kavanaugh while he was a Supreme Court nominee. Earlier this month President Donald Trump said at a campaign rally that people criticizing Kavanaugh were “paid for by Soros — or somebody else.”

The man arrested in the synagogue shooting, Robert Bowers, blamed Jews for the caravan in a social media post.

McCarthy could not immediately be reached by Huffpost for comment about why he deleted the tweet. But his message danced dangerously close to a well-trod anti-Semitic attack portraying Jews as comprising a wealthy international cabal secretly controlling the world.

McCarthy posted a new tweet after the Pittsburgh synagogue attack, stating that the “heinous attacks on Tree of Life synagogue perpetrated by anti-Semitism and hate will not shake our love for each other.

Soros’ son, Alexander Soros, blamed “hate” for the series of pipe bombs sent to Democratic political figures and other Trump targets, including his father.

Alexander Soros wrote in a New York Times op ed Wednesday that his father’s philanthropic efforts, which seek to “support those who promote societies where everyone has a voice,” have been a target of vicious attacks, many “dripping with the poison of anti-Semitism.”

It became much worse since the Trump campaign, Soros added, which was endorsed by “white supremacist and anti-Semite David Duke,” former grand wizard of the KKK, he added. That’s when extremism began to slip into the mainstream in America, Soros noted.

“A genie was let out of the bottle, which may take generations to put back in, ” Soros warned.

Florida resident Cesar Sayoc was arrested  Friday and charged for the series of pipe bomb mailings. The van he was living in was plastered with photos of Trump, pro-Trump slogans and images of the president’s targets with gunsight crosshairs over their faces.




The Harvard Case Is About the Future of Affirmative Action

One day before Harvard goes to court to defend its admissions practices, two warring rallies made clear that the trial is about much more than just the university.

On Wednesday, newly minted Harvard president Lawrence Bacow delivered a sober message to the campus community. In less than a week, he said, Harvard would be heading to federal court to defend its use of race in admissions. “This lawsuit has the potential to create divisions on our campus and in our broader alumni community,” he wrote. And on a brisk Sunday here, those divisions were remarkably clear.

One day before the start of the trial, two warring rallies revealed the deep fissures in the Asian American community over affirmative action. Supporters of Harvard’s race-conscious admissions practices—mostly students—began arriving at Harvard Square early Sunday morning. They grabbed prepared signs from a box, hung banners, and slipped on light blue shirts. The message was consistent: “Defend diversity.”

Supporters of Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy march from Harvard Square. (Adam Harris / The Atlantic)

It was important that they made their voices be heard, they argued, because this is bigger than Harvard. And they aren’t wrong. This case, the latest in a string of challenges to affirmative action, seems poised to make it all the way to the Supreme Court, and could fundamentally change if and how race can be considered  in admissions. The Supreme Court has upheld race-based affirmative action several times over the last 40 years, but, as the court has lurched to the right with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, the future of the practice is more imperiled than anytime in recent memory.

Starting today in federal district court, lawyers for a coalition of Asian American students, brought together by conservative legal strategist Edward Blum and his group Students for Fair Admissions, will argue that Harvard unfairly caps the number of Asian American students it admits in order to boost the enrollment of other racial groups. It will also argue that the college has not considered alternative strategies to  diversify its campus.

Blum has made a career of challenging race-specific policies. He previously spearheaded a case against affirmative action practices at the University of Texas at Austin, and before that, he instigated Shelby County v. Holder, the landmark case from 2013 that nullified pieces of the Voting Rights Act. Several students at the rally were aware of Blum and his litigious past, arguing that he is using Asian Americans as a cudgel to advance a personal agenda of ending affirmative action in higher education.

The lion share of students who had gathered in Harvard Square were, themselves, Asian American—including students and recent graduates who will testify in support of the university in court. That includes Thang Q. Diep, a senior who submitted portions of his admissions file to the court in an effort to bolster Harvard’s case.

“As an Asian American, I do not believe that Harvard’s race conscious admissions policy hurt me,” Diep wrote in a statement to the court. “I disclosed my race and I did not have stellar grades, but I was accepted to Harvard most likely based on my personal statement, which reflected the diversity that I brought to campus.”

And on Sunday, he forcefully declared why he was standing up for Harvard. “My stance on affirmative action is a general reminder to the rest of America—and especially to Edward Blum,” he said to a chorus of cheers, “that I, along with so many other Asian Americans, refuse to be tools of white supremacy, and that we stand in alliance with all communities of color.”

Diep’s argument is one that has resonated with Asian Americans: According to a survey by AAPI Data, nearly two-thirds of Asian Americans support affirmative action policies. Yet, specifically among Chinese Americans, support for the practice is substantially lower.  And some three miles away, across the Charles River, another group—dominated largely by Chinese Americans—voiced their displeasure with Harvard’s policies.

Unlike the the student rally, the event, held in front of the historic Trinity Church, had the markings of a professionally produced rally, such as a surround-sound speaker system, an elevated stage, and metal barriers. And rather than the signs and shirts vowing to “defend diversity,” this rally featured placards decrying affirmative action. “Discrimination in the name of diversity is wrong” was the motto of the gathering, jointly hosted by the Asian American Coalition for Education, or AACE, and Students for Fair Admissions.

Yukong Zhao, the president of AACE, boasted during his speech to a crowd of roughly 250 people that the litigation is sending a message to other schools. “If you don’t stop your discrimination,” Zhao said, “we will file civil rights complaints against you, we will take you to trial.”

There were notably fewer students at the latter rally. Kelley Babphavong, a junior at Harvard, was a notable exception. Babphavong, whose parents are from Laos, and who spoke at the anti-affirmative action rally, believes that the Asian American students supporting Harvard aren’t considering the other possible alternatives to race-conscious admissions, such as class-based preferences. (Students for Fair Admissions has enlisted Richard Kahlenberg, a policy analyst at the Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank, to make this point in court.)

But there are doubts that tipping the scales in favor of socioeconomic diversity will do anything to racially diversify a campus, for a simple reason. As Sue Dynarski, an economist at the University of Michigan, put it, “Most poor people are white. Putting a thumb on the scale for low-income students will help far more white students than black or Hispanic students.”

The dueling rallies on Sunday revved up both sides for the three-week-long battle over Harvard’s admissions practices. “We’re not at war with Harvard, we’re not at war with higher education,” Blum told me. But still, how the case plays out in court could ultimately have major ramifications for whether colleges in places far away from Cambridge will continue to consider race in admissions.



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