Unemployment Drops in Key Swing States Won by Trump

Key swing states that helped propel President Donald Trump to victory on Election Day have experienced substantial drops in unemployment during the first several months of his administration, according to data released Friday by the Department of Labor.

After nearly seven full months in office, Trump is presiding over a decreasing unemployment rate in six particular states that voted for former President Barack Obama — Trump’s Democratic predecessor — in 2012 before supporting Trump in 2016: Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Wall Street Journal analyzed the Department of Labor’s data and found that median unemployment rates across these six states fell from just under 5 percent in December to 3.9 percent. That rate fell even faster than the national median rate, which dropped from 4.7 percent to 4.1 percent.

In particular, the jobless rate in Michigan fell 1.2 percent from the final quarter of 2016 to reach 3.9 percent during the Trump administration. Wisconsin's unemployment rate dropped 1 percent to 3.1 percent. Florida experienced a 0.7 percentage point drop as unemployment clocked in at 4.2 percent.

These dipping unemployment numbers occurred even though Trump has yet to push his key legislative items through Congress. Even with the fate of health care reform hanging tenuously in the balance after the Senate's repeated failures to repeal and replace Obamacare, and with historic tax reform legislation and an infrastructure spending bill still in the works, the economy is showing signs of improvement.

The Journal noted that despite the lack of legislative success, Trump "has appointed people in key posts who have begun to roll back business regulations. And the stock market, while down sharply in recent days, has risen sharply since his election. That has boosted consumer and business confidence, which in turn is a factor behind steady hiring and economic growth."

During a press conference Tuesday, Trump championed the rolling back of stifling regulations that has occurred under his watch and aided in boosting the economy. After signing an executive order "to dramatically reform the nation’s badly broken infrastructure permitting process," Trump pledged that the U.S. "no longer" will "tolerate one job-killing delay after another" or "accept a broken system that benefits consultants and lobbyists at the expense of hardworking Americans."

"We will rebuild our country with American workers, American iron, American aluminum, American steel," Trump said. "We will create millions of new jobs and make millions of American dreams come true."

The Department of Labor's Friday report built upon the Aug. 4 data it released noting that the 4.3 percent national unemployment rate was the lowest the country had seen since March 2001. The report found that a total of 209,000 jobs were added to the economy in July at a higher rate than expected, compared with the 180,000 jobs experts originally anticipated. The number of employed Americans across the country also notched a record high of 153.5 million workers.

In addition, the latest Economist/YouGov Poll released Monday found that the number of people who believe the economy is getting better has almost doubled during the course of the Trump administration, after nearly seven months the president has been in office. Whereas 17 percent of respondents said the economy was getting better this time last year, 30 percent now say the same.

Under Obama, only 5 percent of Republicans thought the economy was improving, compared with the 53 percent who say the same now. Republicans increasingly are also paying attention to the national unemployment rate and how the economy is faring under Trump.

"Five times as many Republicans correctly state the jobless rate today as were able to do so last year. Twenty-eight percent today know the rate is below 5 percent. Last year, only 5 percent knew it was that low. In the latest poll, more than half of Republicans knew the jobless rate dropped in the last month," the survey said.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Abner Guzman)

Last Modified: August 19, 2017, 9:03 pm

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