March 5, 2020

Workers Reap the Benefits of Strong American Economy


  • Republicans’ pro-growth policies – including tax reform, deregulation, and expanding domestic energy production – have helped to make America’s economy bigger and stronger than ever.
  • Since President Trump took office, millions of jobs have been created, and wages for American workers are growing at a solid pace.
  • With unemployment near a half-century low, it’s no wonder most Americans say they are better off than they were three years ago.

For the past three years, Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration have enacted policies to boost America’s economy. Tax reform, deregulation, new trade agreements, and an American energy renaissance have made America’s economy bigger and stronger than ever. Since the start of the Trump administration, the economy has produced 6.7 million net new jobs. Since January 2017, workers’ average hourly wages have risen 9.4% – up 3.1% over the past year alone. This is a welcome change from years of sluggish growth under Democrats’ failed policies. According to a recent Gallup poll, 61% of Americans say they are better off now than they were three years ago.

Since Trump Took Office, American Workers Are Winning

Good Economy

Trump vs. Obama First Three Years

The nation’s unemployment rate has fallen from 4.7% in January 2017 to just 3.6% now, near the lowest rate in half a century. Over the same time period in the Obama administration, unemployment went from 7.8% in January 2009 to 8.3% in January 2012. During the Trump administration, unemployment has been at or below 4% for 23 consecutive months.

Unemployment Rises under Obama, Falls under Trump

Good Economy

Since the start of the Trump administration in January 2017, the economy has generated 6.7 million net new jobs – an average of 182,000 a month. Over the same 37-month period during the Obama administration, the economy lost nearly 1.6 million jobs.

More Americans Are Working, Thanks to Republican Policies

Good Economy

SINCE TRUMP TOOK OFFICE, The U.S. is open for business

Workers are in demand. Small businesses that used to worry about keeping the doors open now say their main problem is finding enough skilled workers. At the end of December 2019, employers had 6.4 million open jobs to fill – more than the 5.8 million people who were unemployed and actively looking for work that month. With more opportunities available, workers have been encouraged to get off the sidelines, and they are finding jobs. The Council of Economic Advisers reported that in the last quarter of 2019, a record 74.2% of people who became employed had come from outside the job market, rather than from the pool of unemployed people who already were looking but had not found jobs yet.

Wages are growing. With low unemployment and the tight labor market, workers are earning more money. Nominal average hourly wages have grown at an annualized rate of 3% or more for a year and a half. Department of Labor data show that in recent months, wages for non-supervisory and production workers have gone up faster than wages for all workers. In January, average hourly wages for workers overall were up 3.1% compared to a year ago, while wages for non-supervisors had increased 3.3%.

Opportunity is widespread. More workers are getting opportunities today, including people who were left behind by Democrats’ policies. Department of Labor data show that from January 2017 to January 2020, the number of people who want full-time work but have to work part-time for economic reasons fell by nearly 1.6 million. This includes people such as retail and restaurant employees who are working part-time because business is slow, as well as workers who could only find part-time jobs. Unemployment among people with just a high school education is now 3.8%, down from a high of 11% in 2010. African-American unemployment has dropped from 16.8% a decade ago to 6% now. Unemployment among workers with a disability also has decreased, from a peak of 16.9% in 2011 to 7.8% now.

Optimism has increased. A recent Gallup poll found that Americans’ general satisfaction is at the highest level in 15 years. Between January 2017, when President Trump took office, and January 2020, Americans’ satisfaction with the state of the economy increased from 46% to 68%. Separately, Gallup also found that about seven in 10 people say now is “a good time to find a quality job,” up from five in 10 who said so in January 2017.


Issue Tags: Labor, Economy