STATEMENT: CAP Economist Michael Madowitz on the August 2019 Jobs Report

Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the August 2019 Employment Situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

After a disappointing summer of economic data, today’s jobs figures confirm the labor market is not immune to the slowdown we’re seeing elsewhere. While these data do not suggest a recession is around the corner, the employment situation—the most robust real-time signal of the state of the economy—eliminates any question that the economy has slowed under President Donald Trump’s administration. Today’s top-line numbers show a softening labor market, while a more detailed look at the underlying data actually make a mediocre report look even weaker.

Trump’s economic slowdown is now clear in a broad set of economic data, with GDP growth, job gains, real wages, and a host of other indicators consistently showing the U.S. economy has slowed over the last six quarters. After averaging around 200,000 new jobs a month since 2012, we’ve dropped to under 160,000 a month in 2019, and that includes the beginning of census hiring.

Where we go from here is unfortunately an open question. There is an opportunity to make things better: This summer’s budget deal should support the government hiring that has been a major plus since Trump took office, and the administration has the ability to increase economic growth simply by suspending some of the bad policies it has unilaterally pursued, like trade posturing and anti-growth immigration policies.

But it’s increasingly clear that the tax giveaway to the rich was just a temporary sugar high for the economy, and a slowing global economy and considerable political uncertainty in a large number of the world’s largest economies mean there is no guarantee Trump’s economic slowdown has reached its nadir.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Allison Preiss at or 202.478.6331.