In June 2016, then-President Obama criticized candidate Donald Trump for vowing to bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA. The Hill reported on Obama’s appearance at a town hall event during the campaign in which Obama mocked Trump’s pledge, questioning how Trump would go about it.
During a PBS town hall that aired Wednesday, Obama referenced Trump’s promise to bring back jobs to the United States when talking about manufacturing.
“Well, how exactly are you going to do that? What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it,” Obama said.
“He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”
Obama’s attack on the Trump promise soon went viral. “Magic wand” became the expression of the moment, at least for a day or two.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) June 2, 2016
At Liberty Unyielding, we don’t know from magic wands. But we can tell an astounding pattern of growth in manufacturing jobs when we see one. Fortunately, Forbes has done the number-crunching for us.
Author Chuck DeVore, former California lawmaker and now the vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, points out that as of December 2018, Trump had “two full years of economic performance to compare with his predecessor, President Obama.”
DeVore also points out that, in the final two years of the Obama presidency, most observers were using the official unemployment figure of about 5.7% as a guide to growth potential. They worried that Trump’s tax reform package would “quickly overheat the labor market, causing a round of inflation with little long-term benefit to workers.”
That concern didn’t take into account the long-term distortion of the principal unemployment figure, which became artificially low because many unemployed people had stopped looking for work, and therefore didn’t count against the current employment picture. In the Trump economy, the no-longer-looking contingent surged back into the job market.
[M]illions of Americans rejoined the labor force, with the official unemployment rate declining to 3.9% by December 2018.
Stated in overall numbers, 8.9 million people who wanted work were out of work in January 2015, and that went down to 7.5 million people in the last full month of Obama’s presidency. This month, that number was further reduced to just under 6.3 million people.
During the Obama years, analyses of employment in popular media also routinely ignored the important distinction between part-time and full-time work. Millions of people who wanted to work full time could find only part part-time jobs, especially during Obama’s second term, when the impact of Obamacare and more draconian environmental regulations really began to bite. That trend, which began a reversal from the Obama-era peak in Obama’s final year, has continued its reversal like gangbusters under Trump.
Trump’s tax and regulatory reforms have been instrumental in enabling businesses to once again offer hundreds of thousands more high-quality, full-time jobs to Americans. Again, we’re not your magic wand experts. But here’s what the Forbes article highlights.
- Manufacturing jobs are growing at a 714% faster clip under Trump than over a similar time under Obama , and;
- Under Obama, federal state and local government employment grew 6 times faster than did manufacturing jobs, while under Trump, that ratio has been reversed, with manufacturing jobs growing 5 times faster than government jobs.
You could even say the Trump policies are making America great again.