Lawmakers praised the most recent jobs report on Friday that showed employment growth jumping in December, despite fears over the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found in its latest monthly employment report that job growth increased by 312,000 in December.
Employment growth has been steady over the last year but has typically trailed behind the latest numbers.
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The unemployment rate did rise slightly but still remains low.
Wages also showed a notable increase.
President Donald Trump came into office with the promise to fix the economy in a way that benefits domestic workers.
His agenda has included deregulatory efforts, tax cuts, and the renegotiation of international trade deals.
The White House praised the report as an indication that the agenda is working.
“The continued low unemployment rate and the consistent employment gains of more than 100,000 jobs every month in 2018 demonstrate the effectiveness of the Administration’s economic policies,” the White House said in a press release.
“As workers continue to come off the sidelines, there also remain opportunities for sustained employment growth as we enter the new year.”
Trump has overseen a steadily improving economy since entering office, though trends like the employment rate and economic growth were already improving before he entered office.
GREAT JOBS NUMBERS JUST ANNOUNCED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2019
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became a major piece of that agenda when it was signed into law in December 2017.
The law lowered taxes for people in most of the income brackets along with corporations and many small businesses.
It also simplified some parts of the tax code by reducing or eliminating certain deductions while increasing the standard deduction.
“This is the 12th jobs report following the historic rewrite of our nation’s tax code, and the trend remains the same: strong growth for America,” House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Calif.) said in a statement to LifeZette.
“This is what Republicans aimed for with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — this full year of major job and wage gains is worth celebrating. More importantly, this year of success for our workers needs to be built upon,” he added.
Former President Barack Obama and his allies have claimed credit for the improving economy, since some of the trends started toward the end of his presidency.
He started seeing more sustained improvements in his last couple of years after an unusually sluggish recovery that began with the Great Recession of 2007.
The job reports over the last couple of years have generally garnered bipartisan optimism regardless. The unemployment rate has remained low, at around 4.0 percent over the last year, with the latest report showing 3.9 percent.
But there has been concern over how stable the economy is, with the current partial government shutdown coming to the forefront.
“The December jobs statement contains some positive news, yet these gains threaten to slip away because of the Trump shutdown,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “A staggering 800,000 hard-working Americans are at risk of losing their paychecks, because the president insists on senselessly holding the American people hostage to his unpopular, ineffective, immoral and expensive border wall.”
The partial government shutdown began with a dispute over funding a security wall along the southern border on December 22.
Trump has warned he will not sign any more spending bills until he gets the necessary $5 billion for the border security wall. Democratic leaders have refused to give him anything — which led to the still-unresolved shutdown.
“There is no recession in sight. Consumers are strong,” said Larry Kudlow, the White House’s National Economic Council director, on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” on Friday morning.
“Jobs are rising. Wages are rising. Let me add to that for the benefit of my great and dear friends at [the] Federal Reserve, more people working successfully at higher wages does not, let me reiterate, does not cause higher inflation. And, in fact, the inflation rate has been coming down even while we’ve been experiencing a continuation of the jobs boom. This is a supply side expansion,” he added.
Wage growth has still remained a concern, with growth still remaining slow despite improvements over the last year.
The average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increase 11 cents to $27.48 last month. That compared to an 84 cents increase at 3.2 percent over the year.
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