On The Money: Economy adds 304K jobs in January | Trump sees 'good chance' of emergency declaration for wall | Dems target Mnuchin over Russia sanctions | Foxconn to build factory after Trump intervenes

On The Money: Economy adds 304K jobs in January | Trump sees 'good chance' of emergency declaration for wall | Dems target Mnuchin over Russia sanctions | Foxconn to build factory after Trump intervenes
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Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL—Economy adds 304K jobs in January, beating expectations: The economy added 304,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported on Friday, well above the 165,000 economists had anticipated.

The report comes despite a five-week shutdown that lasted most of the month, but also dramatically revised downward the stellar December jobs report, which was revised down to 222,000 from the original 312,000 estimate.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent, even as figures on labor participation remained steady. The Hill’s Niv Elis breaks it down here.



Shutdown impact:

  • The Labor Department had said earlier it would consider the 800,000 federal workers who were furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown fully employed. But in Friday's jobs report, it said that the shutdown had contributed to the uptick in unemployment.
  • Temporary layoffs rose 175,000 because of the shutdown, including some furloughed workers, the department said Friday. The number of unemployed workers rose to 6.5 million in the survey.
  • The shutdown also may have increased the number of people who take on part-time work for economic reasons, which increased by about half a million to 5.1 million in January.

 

White House reaction: The White House took a victory lap Friday on the jobs numbers.

“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.

“I hate to say I told you so folks,” he added.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Trump: 'Good chance' I will declare emergency to build wall: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE said Friday there is a “good chance” he will declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I think there’s a good chance we’ll have to do that,” Trump told reporters in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

Trump’s comments provide one of the clearest signs yet he may act on his own to build the wall, as his frustration grows with congressional Democrats over their determination to block one of his core campaign promises. 

  • The president suggested he may reveal more details about his plan to build the wall in Tuesday's State of the Union address, saying people should “listen closely” to the speech.
  • He once again blasted a bipartisan conference committee debating wall funding as a “waste of time” and predicted Democrats would pay a price for opposing the wall.
  • House and Senate lawmakers from both parties met for the first time on Wednesday to start discussing a possible spending deal on border security ahead of the Feb. 15 deadline. Trump's comments will likely make it a lot harder to secure a deal.

 

Democrats are zeroing in on Mnuchin: Democrats have a new investigative target: Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinSchiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill MORE.

The leaders of three powerful House committees are requesting a trove of documents related to the Treasury Department’s decision to lift sanctions on companies tied to Oleg Deripaska, a prominent Russian oligarch linked with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Olivia Beavers tell us why.

  • Treasury lifted the sanctions on Deripaska’s United Co. Rusal and two other firms after he agreed to reduce his ownership stake below 50 percent and relinquish control of the firms, according to details of the deal released by the Treasury Department.
  • But Democrats have raised concerns about the agreement, suggesting it could still afford Deripaska influence and even “defacto control” over the companies.
  • Others have raised ethical concerns about Mnuchin’s reported business ties to billionaire Republican donor Len Blavatnik, who is an investor in Rusal and reportedly stands to benefit from the deal.

 

The Treasury Department has publicly pushed back on those assertions, saying Mnuchin had no “direct business relationship” with Blavatnik and calling suggestions of a conflict of interest “baseless.”

The inquiries underline the urgency among Democrats to use their newfound oversight powers in order to investigate any links between people in Trump’s orbit and the Kremlin.

 

Foxconn to build factory in Wisconsin after Trump intervened: President Trump personally intervened with a Taiwan-based manufacturer to convince the company to build a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, after the company said this week it was rethinking its plans to open the new facility.

In a statement Friday, Foxconn said Trump had spoken with company chairman Terry Gou, and that the company would open a fabrication facility at its base in Wisconsin after all.

“We have undertaken the evaluation while simultaneously seeking to broaden our investment across Wisconsin far beyond our original plans to ensure the company, our workforce, the local community, and the state of Wisconsin will be positioned for long-term success,” the company said.

 

ON TAP NEXT WEEK

Tuesday:

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds a conference on infrastructure investment, 8 a.m. to 2:30  p.m.

Wednesday:

  • Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles delivers a speech at the Federal Reserve Stress Testing Conference, 6 p.m.

Thursday:

  • House Ways and Means Committee: Hearing on legislation to mandate the disclosure of presidential tax returns, 10 a.m.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS