March Jobs Numbers Bounce Back Bigly

Historically, the biggest factor in a president's reelection is the health of the economy.

Thomas Gallatin · Apr. 5, 2019

Following February’s lackluster jobs report, many economists surmised that it was merely a minor blip on an otherwise booming economy. Given the March jobs numbers, it appears that assessment was accurate, as the U.S. economy added a healthy 196,000 jobs last month. This marks the 102nd consecutive month of job gains, which have ramped up precipitously following President Donald Trump’s election. The current headline unemployment rate held steady at 3.8%, as did the fuller measure at 7.3%. The average hourly earnings rate is 3.2% higher than a year ago, and wage growth has now more than doubled the annual inflation rate.

The nation’s future economic outlook is bright. The New York Times reports, “The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time has declined to lows not seen in decades, and recent surveys of the construction and manufacturing industries did not suggest that employers were pulling back.”

All this economic news it good for Americans, and it’s good for Trump as well. But good economic news is usually bad for Democrats. Assuming the economy doesn’t take an unforeseen dramatic downturn prior to the 2020 election (and we do have a long way to go), Trump will be difficult to defeat for any Democrat challenger. Since 1933, only three presidents have lost their reelection bids — Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush. What did all those presidents have in common? Well, as James Carville famously opined, it’s “the economy, stupid.” They all faced significant economic downturns on their watch.

As for Trump? The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein notes that he “can boast of having presided over the lowest recorded average unemployment rate of any of his predecessors at this point in their presidencies.”

So, while the current polling numbers show Trump seemingly underwater with an approval rating hovering in the low 40s, history shows that in a good economy voters almost always opt for staying the course rather than seeking change. That’s good news for Trump and bad news for Democrats.

It appears that many in the current field of Democrat presidential candidates have recognized this reality, which explains why they’re busy spinning the good economy as somehow bad. The problem is the economy is doing so well that even The Washington Post refuses to go to bat for them and instead has called out several Democrats for their “flat-out falsehood.” Here’s hoping the good economy keeps on chugging along.

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