Responding to Job Numbers, Trump Says He Expects Economy to Get Worse
Responding to Job Numbers, Trump Says He Expects Economy to Get Worse

By Tom Ozimek

Former President Donald Trump issued a warning about the direction of the U.S. economy after Friday’s job creation numbers came in far below expectations and as more Americans were bumped onto unemployment rolls.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on May 3 that the U.S. economy added 175,000 new jobs last month. That’s down from 315,000 in March and substantially lower than the 243,000 positions that market analysts were expecting.

“The job numbers just came out and they’re horrible,” President Trump told reporters in New York shortly after the data dropped. “These people are destroying our country and here’s another sign of it.”

Forecasters also anticipated an unchanged unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, while the jobs report showed an uptick to 3.9 percent.

“Our economy’s bad, and now it’s starting to show,” President Trump said. “You‘ll see. And it’ll only get worse. We’re only going one way with the so-called leadership—there is no leadership—but with the so-called leadership we’ve got in this country.”

President Joe Biden, by contrast, issued a statement claiming that the job numbers are evidence that “the great American comeback continues,” while pointing out the fact that the unemployment rate has remained below 4 percent for a record 27 months in a row.

But the twin surprises in the jobs report—a higher unemployment rate and lower job creation—aren’t the only signs pointing to weakness in the economy, especially in terms of the labor market.

Softening Jobs Market

The latest JOLTS report showed that the number of job openings has fallen by around 325,000 (the biggest drop in six months) down to 8.488 million (the lowest level in around three years). The report also showed that the number of people quitting their jobs declined, a sign of loss of confidence in workers’ ability to find a better job—and of waning economic sentiment more broadly.

Another sign that Americans are losing confidence in the job market comes in the form of a recent New York Federal Reserve report, which shows people have grown more pessimistic about losing their jobs and finding new ones. The report showed that the mean perceived probability of losing one’s job in the next year rose to 15.7 percent, the highest level since 2020.

Other recent data pointing to softer labor market conditions includes the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) reports on U.S. manufacturing and services, both of which showed hiring activity contracting and employment in recession territory.

“The decline in the composite index in April is a result of lower business activity, slower new orders growth, faster supplier deliveries, and the continued contraction in employment,” Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM services business survey committee, said in a statement. “Survey respondents indicated that overall business is generally slowing.”

Many analysts expect further job market contraction.

“The outlook remains for some softening in the job market over the next year as high interest rates weigh on demand,” Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

While consumer spending has held up and many economists tout the continued strength of the American consumer, a recent Philadelphia Fed report shows that people are having more difficulty making payments on their credit card debt, with credit card delinquencies surging to a record high.

While remarking on the latest jobs report, President Trump mentioned part of his plan to bolster the labor market and give the economy a boost.

“My plan for jobs is to ‘drill, baby drill,’ going to bring energy down, to close up the border,” he said, highlighting several points from his Agenda 47 economic policy plan.

Former President Donald Trump departs Trump Tower for Manhattan Criminal Court, to attend the first day of his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, in New York City on April 15, 2024. (Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump’s Economic Plan

Under the Trump presidency (excluding the pandemic recession in 2020), real gross domestic product (GDP) growth exceeded the rate of expansion notched during former President Barack Obama’s term in office.

Real GDP growth under President Trump also exceeded that notched under President Biden, with the exception of the stimulus-fueled post-pandemic recovery.

Poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanic Americans hit record lows under the Trump presidency. Also, the unemployment rates for these two groups fell to new lows—as did those for Asian Americans, Americans without a high school degree, and disabled Americans.

Economic confidence was also much higher under President Trump than under President Biden, with the Gallup Economic Confidence Index remaining in negative territory through practically the entire Biden presidency.

Total job growth under President Biden has exceeded that under President Trump, but much of that is due to a post-pandemic rebound in hiring, meaning that these weren’t new jobs created but people going back to old jobs that were temporarily cut during the pandemic.

The stimulus-fueled economic rebound also pushed inflation to a multi-decade high of 9 percent, a fact that President Trump has repeatedly zeroed in on when arguing against the economic policies of his chief rival in the 2024 presidential election.

President Trump’s Agenda 47 economic policy proposals include a number of contrasting positions compared to the incumbent.

The former president has vowed to end President Biden’s electric vehicle mandate that he argues will only serve the interests of China, the global leader in electric vehicle production. He has also vowed to oppose what he calls the Biden administration’s “job-killing Green New Deal insanity,” promising to unleash domestic energy production and retain fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

“We sit on liquid gold, and we’re getting rid of combustion engines,” President Trump said in a video message in October 2023.

A key part of his Agenda 47 economic plan is to ensure that the United States has the lowest cost of energy of any industrial country in the world.

“More energy will mean lower inflation that will mean more jobs,” he said in a September 2023 policy statement, a proposal that’s reflected in his “drill, baby, drill” remarks on the latest lackluster jobs report.

To accelerate domestic energy production, President Trump has vowed to roll back various Biden administration regulations on electricity production and fossil fuel extraction.

He’s also promised to tackle what he’s described as a “wave of frivolous litigation from environmental extremists” that hold back critical energy development projects.

In a further bid to lower the cost of energy—which is a foundational economic input in the manufacturing industry and beyond—President Trump has vowed to support nuclear energy production by modernizing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, pledging to work to keep both existing power plants open and invest in small modular reactors.

His economic revival plan also includes lower taxes.

USNN World News (USNN) USNN World News Corporation is a media company consisting of a series of sites specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information, local,...