Politics

Trump Era: Private Sector Job Growth Explodes in February

President's first full month brings 298,000 new jobs, 15 times average monthly growth of Bush years

Private sector growth generated nearly 300,000 new jobs in February, signaling an auspicious start for the Trump administration.

In total, 298,000 jobs were added during President Donald Trump’s first full month in office, according to a new report by Automatic Data Processing (ADP) released Wednesday. The tally nearly doubled projections from economic analysts. The private sector created 100,000 more jobs than the 190,000 originally forecast by economists in an ADP survey.

“February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years.”

The report comes the same day as a LinkedIn Workforce Report indicated significant job growth in the beginning of 2017.

“January and February were the strongest consecutive months for hiring since August and September 2015,” tweeted President Trump Wednesday morning, citing the LinkedIn report.

“February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement. “Gains were driven by a surge in the goods sector, while we also saw the information industry experience a notable increase.”

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The data released by ADP is particularly promising because it appears to indicate relatively even job growth across the economy. The “goods-producing sector” added 106,000 jobs — 66,000 construction jobs, 32,000 manufacturing jobs, and 8,000 new mining jobs — while the service industry sector added 193,000 jobs.

This is a significant change from the meager job growth that occurred primarily in the service industry across much of President Obama’s tenure.

Trump promised to strengthen American businesses, especially in the manufacturing and construction industries, and to protect and foster American jobs in those industries. February’s employment numbers are an early boost to the president’s prospects for delivering on that promise.

“February was a very good month for workers. Powering job growth were the construction, mining and manufacturing industries,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which co-authored the ADP report.

Equally as promising is the fact that ADP’s numbers suggest strong small-business growth. Of the 298,000 new jobs added to the private sector in February, 226,000 — over 75 percent — were created by businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Over a third — 34.9 percent — were added to businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

It remains to be seen if the administration will be able to sustain some of February’s momentum. Action in Congress on repealing Obamacare and passing tax reform would both have a significant impact on the private sector.

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Obama saw over 700,000 private sector jobs disappear during his first month in office, and another 846,000 vanish during his second month in office — though he did assume office as the country was in the throes of the Great Recession. The private sector had lost 600,000 jobs in each of President George W. Bush’s last two months.

A 2012 report by Business Insider estimated the economy added an average of 20,000 total jobs per month during the Bush’s time in office, roughly 1/15 of the job growth under Trump in February 2017.

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