August 7 marked the 200th day of Trump’s presidency, and its time to take a look at how the economy has faired since the billionaire business man took over. As it turns out, the ‘America First!’ approach is doing far better than even many supporters expected.
Before even setting foot in the oval office, Trump saved hundreds, if not thousands of jobs at a Carrier plant in Indiana, striking a deal with the manufacturing giant that they would not send jobs out of the country by building a factory elsewhere. This was a bold move, giving many workers in Indiana a beacon of hope in a dismal economy for factory workers. Despite reaching a deal with Carrier which offered financial incentives, the company is moving roughly 600 jobs to Mexico anyway this summer because labor is so much cheaper.
The stock market has been hitting record highs under President Trump, and job growth continues to be steady. Since the inauguration, stocks have been climbing, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting 22,000 for the first time in history.
Investors were clearly excited when President Trump was elected, with most expecting a presidential agenda that is corporate-friendly and full of tax cuts. With the deregulation President Trump has promised, this has the potential to make those that are already wealthy even richer. At the same time, his populism may actually afford low-income earners a chance to keep pace.
In both May and July 2017, the unemployment rate hit 4.3%, a significant low for the post-recession era.
Job growth has also been significant. In June 2017, 209,000 net jobs were added in to the US economy.
During his campaign, President Trump focused hard on job growth within the manufacturing industry. If he is able to bring back solid paying manufacturing jobs, this will improve the lives of many of his supporters throughout the country. Many Americans are willing to work hard for an honest day’s pay, but find that there just aren’t jobs out there that can support a family.
Despite focusing hard on manufacturing job growth during his campaign and during the first 200 days, the manufacturing industry has only seen modest growth in the last six months which is comparable to growth seen in previous years.
All of this is certainly good news for virtually all socio-economic backgrounds, but sustaining this growth will not be easy. Trump has called for an overall repeal and replacement of Obamacare, which he believes is a healthcare disaster taking away from the average American. He has worked hard to negotiate a new health care law that he believes will make health care affordable for everyone.
Although he has pushed hard for reform, he has not been able to push this legislation through. Because of the program’s cost, keeping it in place will make tax reform even more difficult to get through Congress.
Coal jobs may not be on the rise, but our dependence on coal just isn’t the same as it once was. With cleaner fuel options, coal is used less frequently. There is no net increase in coal jobs since January 2017, an expected number for those who have a good handle on the coal industry and why it continues to dwindle.
Growing manufacturing jobs is going to take some serious political finesse. With labor so much cheaper in other countries, it is almost impossible to bring jobs back without offering financial incentives that are difficult to maintain. While efforts such as with the Carrier Company are a great first effort, Trump must do more to push a legislative agenda.
It’s true he can do a great deal on his own by slashing Obama-era regulations on the executive front, there is little more he can do without support from his own party.