Donald Trump's first year was pretty lukewarm for jobs growth

Nonfarm payrolls were expected to increase by 190,000 in December but instead only rose by 148,000

By Matthew Rozsa
Published January 5, 2018 3:30PM (EST)
 (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

A new jobs report for December is showing that American payrolls isn't growing in the way many economists had predicted.

The economy only added 148,000 jobs in December — compared to the 190,000 nonfarm payroll jobs that economists had anticipated, according to CNBC. This was at least partially explained by the 20,000 retail jobs lost during the holiday season, although that does not account for the full difference.

Despite job growth being slower than expected, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent.

The jobs news was not likely what Trump wanted when he tweeted out a positive spin on the state of the American economy on Friday morning.

One Republican double standard that became clear on Friday was that of Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Although he boasted on Friday that the 148,000 job gain meant that "our economy continued to make progress," he denounced a 292,000 job gain from December 2015 on the grounds that "millions of more Americans would be working today if the Obama Administration had spent less time growing Washington and more time growing our local economy."

Other Twitter users also noted the GOP double-standard when it came to celebrating jobs growth under Trump versus jobs growth under President Barack Obama.


Other economic metrics were more positive. Job growth in November was revised upward to 252,000 from the initially reported 228,000. Overall the average payroll growth for the last three months has been 204,000 jobs each month, with average hourly earnings increasing by 9 cents to $26.63 an hour, according to The New York Times. This brought the year-over-year increase in hourly earnings to 2.5 percent.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Barack Obama Donald Trump Economy Jobs Kevin Brady