President Trump and trade groups pointed to the government’s strong jobs report Friday as proof that the U.S. economy is still surging at a robust pace.
At a Rose Garden event, Mr. Trump said the creation of 312,000 jobs in December was “a great number.”
“This really took people by surprise,” the president said. “I think it has a lot to do with the factories and the companies that are moving back into the United States.”
He added that the report is “obviously having a big impact on the stock market today.”
Stocks surged Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing about 700 points by mid-afternoon. The index had lost 660 points Thursday on lower revenue projections from Apple, which blamed weakening demand for iPhones in China.
Mr. Trump said despite steep losses in the stock market in late 2018, stocks have risen about 30 percent since his election.
“I do want people to remember that we’ve had a tremendous success, despite the fact that I’m in the midst of negotiating incredible trade deals for our country,” he said. New trade talks with China are set to begin next week.
Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers, said the addition of 32,000 manufacturing jobs in December “matches the record optimism among manufacturers recorded in 2018.”
NAM also noted that monthly job growth averaged about 2,700 jobs during 2015-2016, and that job growth has averaged about 17,000 in 2017 and nearly 24,000 in 2018 — the latter after the Republican tax cuts.
The jobs report also said wages grew 3.2 percent last year, a development that the president called “beautiful.”
“That hasn’t happened for so long in our country,” Mr. Trump said. “Yet there’s no inflation, because other things are going down, like the price of gasoline. That doesn’t happen by luck. I work hard on that.”
Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, said the economy “is the strongest it’s been in decades.”
“Over 300,000 new jobs in December, wages are growing at their fastest rate in years, & people who had given up hope in finding a job are rejoining the workforce,” Mr. Toomey tweeted. “#TaxReform & regulatory relief are working!”
Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign also hailed the better-than-expected news on hiring.
“Defying all the critics and blowing away expectations, the December jobs report is a fitting finale to the unprecedented growth of the 2018 Trump economy and a fantastic start to the New Year,” said Michael Glassner, chief operating officer of the campaign. “Those prognosticators who root for economic collapse to spite President Trump have been proven wrong yet again. This jobs report is a stark reminder to the elites and the naysayers to never bet against Donald Trump – he’ll only beat expectations yet again.”
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said the report refutes “the left-wing media [which] has been desperately trying to talk down the Trump economic boom over the past two months citing the notoriously volatile stock market as their source of concern.”
“The truth is that Americans are working in record numbers, wages continue to rise modestly, our manufacturing plants are running on overtime and inflation remains stable,” Mr. Manning said. “Let’s hope that Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi doesn’t mess it up with higher spending and tax increases. Rather than seeking to impeach the president, the Democrats in Congress should be looking for ways to work with him to increase the wealth effect being created through this virtuous economic cycle.”
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