STATEMENT: Economist Michael Madowitz on the December 2018 Jobs Report

Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the December 2018 Employment Situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Today’s jobs report makes clear that the momentum the economy carried into 2018 is still with us. Yet, there is reason to wonder how much longer we can sustain a nearly decade-long recovery amidst the erratic economic decision-making of the Trump Administration. 2018 closed with a lot of news about economic volatility, with much of that volatility emanating from the White House, and the majority of that news came after today’s jobs numbers were collected.

While the news today on jobs and wages is encouraging, the administration has recently rattled onlookers with a series of its own goals that have rightfully cast renewed doubt on its ability to handle the economy. First, it was tweets and public statements that made it politically harder for the Federal Reserve to hold back on raising interest rates, then came murmurs of President Donald Trump’s desire to potentially fire the chair of the Federal Reserve. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, seemingly out of nowhere, cast doubt on the soundness of American banks, and President Trump’s petulant behavior has led to a two-week—and counting—partial shutdown of the federal government. Meanwhile, we’re seeing increasing signs that the trade wars are not the free lunch the president thinks they are. It’s entirely possible that these self-inflicted wounds could start to pose credible risks to an otherwise healthy economy.

Related resource: “The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-December 2018 Jobs Release” by Daniella Zessoules and Michael Madowitz

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Allison Preiss at apreiss@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6331.