Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the November 2018 Employment Situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS reported that the economy added 155,000 jobs last month, the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7 percent, and year-over-year wage growth came in at 3.1 percent:
After a volatile week for financial markets, it’s a relief to see the job market continue its 9 years of momentum. However, while it would be a mistake to put too much emphasis on the stock market and lose sight of the more important picture, we can’t ignore the economic news of the last year—markets see increased odds of a recession, and it’s no mystery why.
Last December, President Donald Trump and congressional Republican leaders passed a massive tax scam that locked in big windfalls for corporations and the wealthy, knowing the Federal Reserve would respond with higher interest rates. The Fed appears set to hike rates again later this month, but with the investment and wage effects from the tax cut continuing to disappoint, it looks increasingly possible that interest rates have already gone too high. The combined effects of a series of economic and trade policy fumbles from the administration and the lackluster effects of the tax cut have already hit farmers, homebuilders, and autoworkers this year. With inflation still lower than the Fed’s target, there’s no apparent need to hike rates in two weeks, and there seem to be real risks facing the longest expansion in U.S. history. And if we do start to tip into a recession, the president only has his own ham-handedness to blame.
Related resource: “The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-November 2018 Jobs Release” by Daniella Zessoules, Galen Hendricks, and Michael Madowitz
For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Allison Preiss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.478.6331.