Working-class and flyover Americans view the Trump White House as fighting successfully for them. But while the elite and chattering classes abhor President Donald Trump and anything he does, they can’t avoid the facts. And the facts are crisp, startling, and unavoidably in favor of President Trump being the American jobs president.
Here are five reasons why President Trump could be the “Jobs President” of our generation:
1. Unemployment is at a record low. The unemployment rate of Americans hit 3.8 percent in May, a record low. The unemployment rate of Latinos is at an all-time low. Women’s unemployment hit a 65-year low in May and African-American unemployment rates hit an all-time low at the same time.
2. A record number of Americans are working full-time. Nearly 130 million Americans now have full-time jobs. This is six million more than the record set under President Obama.
3. The number of jobs available is at a record high. We’ve been seeing record-high job openings, ranging from 6.6 to 6.8 million between March and May. And as the Washington Post pointed out in May, that essentially means that there are as many jobs as there are unemployed Americans.
4. Corporate America is invested in the American worker — and the American economy. The Trumps engaged corporate America. The Trump White House succeeded in getting companies to commit to training and retraining workers for the skills America needs to compete globally.
Last week, Ivanka Trump coordinated a White House event where companies and associations pledged to develop the skills of over five million American workers — an event I had the privilege to attend.
Additionally, with support from the administration, Congress is in the process of passing legislation supporting community college and technical training education. By working with employers and communities, and emphasizing transparency, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act will prepare students for high-skilled, high-paying jobs, helping them avoid the crushing mountains of debt that so many millennials currently face.
In the tech industry, we’re excited by these shifts. The most common complaint I hear from employers is that they can’t find the tech talent they need to build the services and systems of the future. Without a stable talent pipeline, we run the risk of falling behind as a nation and ceding our role as the global innovation leader. President Trump’s passion for the American worker and the American dream is a refreshing change and a beacon of hope for students and workers in the decades to come.
5. Business is booming. The stock market has experienced strong growth under President Trump. Choking business rules have been cut. Taxes have been slashed. Top administration appointees have business experience and are welcoming input from business leaders on how the government could be more efficient and favorable to job creation and business formation.
In short, President Trump is keeping his commitment to the forgotten blue-collar worker and to the older worker in middle America who thought the world had passed them by. Just a few years ago, many of them had less hope for a future with job training or even a job.
Presidents often get too much credit or blame for the success or failure of the economy. But in this case, Trump deserves much of the credit for the optimism, opportunity, and strength of the market.
Trump’s vulnerability on jobs is the natural business cycle. There will be a recession and inflation. The question is when escalating tariffs and a trade war will slam businesses. When President Bush placed tariffs on steel in 2002, 200,000 workers lost their jobs. President Trump’s zeal for equity in our international dealings is understandable, but he must fight for parity in a way that doesn’t do damage to the labor force and the companies and business models that support it.
“Make America Great Again” Trump enthusiasts’ joy is well-placed, as Trump has made a significant difference. While Americans enjoy this return to prosperity, I encourage the president to rethink hasty tariffs that have no clearly stated policy objective nor an outline for an exit strategy. With clear objectives, business organizations would be able to work with the administration to achieve shared goals, rather than fighting tariffs that impact their business models and their ability to employ Americans.
If President Trump continues to focus on the voters he campaigned for and keeps the economic excitement up, he will be the “Jobs President” of our generation.
Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,200 consumer technology companies, and author of the New York Times best-selling books, Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses and The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream. His views are his own. Connect with him on Twitter: @GaryShapiro.