White House takes victory lap on jobs numbers: ‘We told you so’

The White House took a victory lap Friday after the Labor Department announced 304,000 jobs were created in January, some 139,000 more than economists anticipated.

“Three hundred-thousand new jobs plus, 3.2 percent increase in wages, participation rates went up, hours worked went up, it doesn’t get much better than this,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in a video posted to the White House Twitter page.

{mosads}“I hate to say I told you so folks,” he added. “We’re going at 3 percent plus, and I don’t care, you can line up 8,000 pessimistas, and they’re wrong. They’re completely wrong. We’re on a roll and it’s going to stay like that.” 

Some economists had feared that the recent 35-day partial government shutdown would contribute to a possible recession, though Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said this week the administration saw “no indications whatsoever of a recession on the horizon.”

The Labor Department added that the shutdown had “no discernible impacts” on its estimates.

The report, which marked 100 consecutive months of job growth, also showed the unemployment rate tick up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent and wages rise by 3 cents. Overall, average hourly earnings were up 85 cents in the past year, a 3.2 percent increase. The wage increase coincides with new minimum wage laws recently passed in 19 states.

Financial markets, which had their strongest January in 30 years after suffering the worst December since the Great Depression, reacted positively to the jobs report, with the Dow Jones Industrial surging 150 points in morning trading.

President Trump praised the jobs report Friday, saying he was not surprised by the economy’s strong showing. 

“This country is doing really well. We have the strongest economy in the world, by far,” he said. “Those numbers were very, very impressive.”

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