Right Hooks

Jobs Report Returns to Normal in April

After a worrisome slump in March, the jobs market rebounded in April. That's good news, but more can be done.

Business Review Board · May 5, 2017

If April showers bring May flowers (and most of the U.S. should have plenty of color this year), what does a strong April jobs report foretell? Hopefully, a blossoming economy that can finally put Obamanomics behind it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added 211,000 new jobs in April, which helped reduce the headline unemployment rate to a 10-year low of 4.4%. The fuller measure U-6 rate dropped to 8.6%, the best since November 2007.

Recall that March’s jobs report was ugly, plain and simple. The BLS’s already paltry estimate of 98,000 new jobs that month was reduced even further today, with BLS now calculating just 79,000 jobs. On the flip side, February’s report actually improved, with BLS estimating 232,000 new jobs (the previous figure was 219,000). The consensus seems to be that bad weather served as an economic bludgeon in March. And that is most certainly a factor.

Remember too that first quarter GDP (0.7% growth) was in many ways a paradox. Consumer spending was not on par with other positive economic signals, and there are a few theories behind this disparity. But the Leftmedia’s interpretation of it — that low GDP is a possible repudiation of Trumpnomics — doesn’t exactly add up. March’s jobs report gave ammunition to this view. But February’s and April’s reports don’t. The truth is that Obama spent all your money. Trump wants to let you keep it. While GDP might be low, businesses are hiring. The question is what happens from here.

It could be the consumers are being cautious, waiting to see what Congress does on important matters before flooding the economy with hard-earned cash. ObamaCare repeal and tax reform are huge factors for the economy, and the outcome of both remains to be seen. But reforming those two issues would do more than anything else to jumpstart the economy. In other words: Dear Senate, the ball’s in your court. Don’t blow it.

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