Jobs, Good Wages, and Statistics (Nov. 4)

Mike & Co.,

Today marked the last new national economic data that voters will see before the elections on Tuesday and they have proved very good for the country.  Today’s BLS data indicated important proof of a strengthening recovery that redounds to HRC’s advantage.

Below we outline the most important details of the job report, as well as the disconnect between what the numbers say about the economy and attitudes of the American workers.

Best,

Dana

____________________

Today, the BLS released its monthly jobs report. The bottom lines:

  • the economy added 161,000 jobs in October, slightly below the expected 175,000
  •  the 73rd consecutive month of job growth
  •  nationally, unemployment dropped to 4.9 percent, a level not been seen since before the crisis
  •  wages increased by 10 cents, bringing the annual wage rate growth to 2.8 percent, the highest it has been since 2008

Numbers and perceptions

While the economy has been substantially  and quantitatively improving in recent years, many Americans disbelieve the facts,

an October Real Clear Politics poll found  that 62.6 percent of Americans believed that the country is on the wrong track

  •  a Gallup Poll from the end of October  found that 59 percent believed that the economy is actually getting worse
  •   a Huffington Post poll found that 45.9 percent disapproved of President Obama’s handling of the economy
  •   CNBC poll found last month that 73 percent of Americans felt insecure about the overall economy, however 80 percent of these respondents also said that they felt secure in their own personal financial future.

These figures may indicate that many Americans do not feel that the economy as a whole is stable, even if they personally are.  It could also be the case that economic recovery for some has been slow, or even nonexistent, even as the economy writ large has recovered. Urban centers, for example, have recovered faster than rural areas where Trump has seen substantial populist support.

Another part of this may be because some Americans do not trust the government data to be accurate. According to CNBC, over 25 percent of people do not believe government data.

Trump has capitalized on this belief by stating according his own estimates, unemployment is close to 10 percent, almost double that of the official numbers. However, these estimates are higher because Trump’s estimates count many part time workers as unemployed, whereas the BLS does not

When asked in early June by CNN who would better handle the economy, voters preferred Trump (51 percent to HRC (43 percentage ).   In late July, HRC took a 50-48 advantage on the same question.  In early September, Trump had an overwhelming lead on the question (56 percent to 41).  In a last poll asking the same question conducted last week, Trump had a 51 percent to 47.

Campaign Implications •. With the election so close and today’s jobs numbers are a helpful reminder of the durability and steadiness of the American recovery.  The large numbers who still feel job insecurity despite his economy and don’t believe that it is is getting better suggests that the public doesn’t know how far the economy has come in terms of job creation.   But the dissatisfied know that wages and purchasing power have been stagnant — in fact, they are still below 2008 levels

In the last days of the campaign, it will be vital to stress the wage gains this year –faster since before the recession — and that unemployment has decreased to pre-recession levels.  Keeping focus on “fair economy” rhetoric helps too, including promises of help for areas. D regions of the county that have not fully recovered.  Emphasizing that Trump’s business record has not always generated fair jobs, or many jobs, is also important. Most importantly, exposure of these numbers can also undermine Trump’s claims of a paltry recovery, and the loss of good paying jobs.

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