US Manufacturing Unemployment Drops to 2.6 Percent in December 2017—Lowest on Record
According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in America’s manufacturing sector dropped to 2.6 percent as of December 1—the lowest manufacturing unemployment rate on record. This is down from recent highs of over 13 percent in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008.
This is welcome news, and bolsters President Donald Trump’s claim that he will revive America’s long-ailing manufacturing sector by cutting corporate taxes and reducing regulations on American businesses. In fact, President Trump’s persona is one of the main reasons the American economy is surging forward since he took office.
Remember, economic growth is often predicated not upon hard factors, like increasing demand, but on soft factors like optimism—animal spirits, as British economist John Maynard Keynes calls them. President Trump has injected hope into the market through his rhetoric: turns of phrase like his promise to “make it morning in America again” are laden with positive expectations.
There is no doubt that President Trump has greatly increased the market’s optimism: the stock market is at all-time highs and economic growth has topped 3 percent for the last two quarters—something that never happened under President Obama.
Of course, it’s important to remember that, to some degree, the manufacturing recovery is part of broader economic trends—although it is highly doubtful that without Trump the gains would have been so robust.