Andy Puzder penned a compelling op-ed for The Hill, a premiere online source for political news, that discusses how the labor market is thriving far better under President Trump compared to the Obama administration.
Published today (October 9, 2017), Puzder’s op-ed points to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey of businesses, which showed that the unemployment rate declined significantly in September to a 16-year low of 4.2 percent and that the labor participation rate rose from 62.9 percent to 63.1 percent, exceeding 63 percent for the first time in 42 months. In other words, a smaller percentage of people were unemployed while the workforce expanded because a larger percentage of people were working or actively looking for work – very positive economic news.
During the Obama administration, a major reason the unemployment rate declined, according to Puzder in his op-ed, was that fewer people were in the labor force because what the BLS calls the labor participation rate continually declined as people gave up the search for a job or retired. Under President Obama, labor participation hit lows last seen in the late 1970s. So rather than a true reflection of labor market strength, the declining unemployment rate was, in great part, a reflection of the declining percentage of people actively looking for work.
Puzder continues to argue in his op-ed that the labor market is thriving far better under President Trump compared to the Obama administration by highlighting how the eight months following President Trump’s inauguration are the only months since February 2009 in which 60 percent or more of Americans were employed. Additionally, Puzder states that it’s been above 60 percent for every month of the Trump presidency and that in September, the percentage of Americans who were employed reached 60.4 percent. The last time it was this high was January 2009, the month President Obama took office.
For more on how the labor market is doing better under Trump compared to Obama, read Andy’s full op-ed here.