Job numbers, stocks boost Trump in election year
President Trump is heading into the final year of his first term with a strong job market that could boost his chances of winning another four years in office.
The U.S. added jobs at a steady clip in 2019, powering through the rising costs of Trump’s trade battles, a global economic slump and myriad geopolitical crises.
Fears of a recession that dominated the summer have faded, and the stock market has shattered record highs through the first days of 2020 — with the Dow Jones rising above 29,000 for a time on Friday.
The December jobs report released the same day showed the U.S gaining 145,000 jobs and maintaining an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, the lowest in more than 50 years. And some economists say the labor market has plenty of room to expand in the new decade.
“The economy is pretty damn good for the vast majority of Americans,” said Claudia Sahm, director of macroeconomic policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a D.C. think tank.
“This year was good news. We could have a lot more good news.”
The resilience of the economy bodes well for Trump, who will be the first president ever impeached to run for reelection. He’s already arguing that electing a Democrat could cause the economy to turn south.
“And just in case you didn’t know it, Ohio just had the best year economically in the history of your state,” Trump said Thursday during a rally in Toledo, even though the state lost jobs in 2019. “That’s not bad. That’s not bad. And this year is going to be even better. Maybe much better.”
Few economists see significant risks to the economy.
The Federal Reserve is forecasting a pause on rate cuts after slashing rates three times during an anxious mid-year stretch for global markets. And while the economy is expected to slow, few see a significant dip or recession on the horizon.