STATEMENT: CAP Economist Michael Madowitz on the January 2020 Jobs Report

Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the January 2020 Employment Situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Today’s objective labor market data show a stable, but much cooler economy than the one described by President Donald Trump this week. Rather than a “blue-collar boom,” the United States is still in a manufacturing recession with manufacturing losing another 12,000 jobs this month. Experts knew that 2019 data were going to be revised down considerably this month. With the corrected baseline, 2019 was the slowest year for job growth since 2011, when the economy was just climbing back from the great recession.

Things could be worse: The president inherited a healthy economy. However, the United States is starting 2020 in a precarious position, and already, the country is facing economic headwinds from coronavirus on top of the administration’s self-inflicted wounds, including a series of trade missteps that hurt farmers and the auto industry and slowed the economy in 2019. The administration has given the wealthy tax cuts, amounting to nearly $2 trillion, which have failed to stimulate the U.S. economy. Instead, the Federal Reserve had to act aggressively to prop up the economy last year.

The United States has already used a lot of the ammunition that is usually saved for fighting recessions, and the economy has grown more slowly in the first three years of the current administration than in the final three years of the Obama administration. The Trump administration’s attacks on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Social Security disability, housing assistance, and other safety net programs have left low-income workers and their families who need additional income support more economically insecure. With all of these deficiencies, the country is left to hope that the U.S. economy has settled into a slower cruising speed.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Julia Cusick at or 202-495-3682.