by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The blowout economic news released Friday in the November employment report signals an acceleration of the extraordinary labor market trends in America and may well forecast the reelection of President Trump.
After the sluggish, slow-growth Obama years, especially for working-class laborers in our land, the spoils of the present Trump Boom constitute an economic awakening, a sunrise of opportunity. In 1984, President Reagan made history by winning 49 states in a reelection landslide, in part due to savvy marketing, particularly his landmark “Morning in America” commercial projecting the optimism of an America back to work. But not long before that ad, Reagan’s chances for a second term seemed imperiled. The GOP was routed in the 1982 midterms, and throughout most of 1983 the president’s approval numbers languished around 40%. Sound familiar?
But by 1984, the roaring economy and surging optimism of America translated into similarly buoyant results for Ronald Reagan. While no one expects a 1984-style Republican victory in 2020, important parallels exist. Specifically, the blockbuster labor market combined with a groundswell of consumer optimism make President Trump the prohibitive favorite to prevail next November.
The headlines of the employment report deserve celebration, with 266,000 new jobs created last month, including 54,000 in manufacturing. But the details reveal even better news for the U.S. workforce. For example, the quality of the increases matches the quantity of new hires, as yearly earnings exceeded 3% growth for the 16th consecutive month, a mark seen in only three months, total, during the Obama years.