A Look Into The First Three Years Of Trump’s Presidency

Statistical measures of how things have changed during Trump’s first three years

Employment — The economy added 6.7 million jobs, and unemployment fell to the lowest rate in half a century.

Trump is far behind the pace needed to fulfill his campaign boast that he will be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” At this rate he will not even come up to the gains made during Obama’s final term. The average monthly gain under Trump so far is 191,000 — compared with an average monthly gain of 217,000 during the four years before he took office.

Unemployment — The unemployment rate, which was well below the historical norm when Trump took office, 4.7%, has continued to fall to the lowest rate in half a century, 3.5%.

Economic Growth — The economy grew somewhat under Trump — but not at the rate he promised. Real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product was growing at an annual rate of 2.1% during the third quarter of 2019, after going up 2.9% in 2018 and 2.4% during his first year in office. In Obama’s last year, Real GDP was up 3.9%.

Poverty — The rate of poverty declined from 12.7 in 2016 to the most current available data  of 11.8%, The poverty rate has now declined for ten consecutive years.

Carbon Emissions — Carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption rose under Trump. Figures show CO2 emissions were 0.5% higher in the most recent 12 months on record (ending in September) than they were in 2016.

In the decade before Trump took office, emissions fell by a total of 14.5%. Under Trump, the trend reversed with a 2.9% increase in 2018.

Border Security — Illegal border crossings surged to the highest in a dozen years. The total for last year was 799,669, the highest annual total since 2007 and 81% higher than in 2016, the year before Trump took office.

Last year’s surge was different from those of earlier years, when most attempted border crossings were made by Mexican males seeking work. But in the peak month of May last year, over 72% of those apprehended were either unaccompanied children or part of “family units” made up of a child under 18 accompanied by a parent or guardian. Border Patrol officials said they are coming primarily from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and many are seeking asylum.

Corporate Profits — After-tax corporate profits remained near record levels under Trump. During 2018, they hit $1.84 trillion for the year, just under the record $1.86 trillion recorded for 2014.

Stock Market — Stock prices continued their decade-long rise with Trump in office, setting new records last year and then again in the new year. The bull market began its rise in the depths of the Great Recession in 2009, and became the longest in history in 2018, passing its 10th anniversary in March of last year.

Inflation — The upward trend in real wages continued under Trump, and inflation remained in check. The Consumer Price Index rose 6% during Trump’s first three years, continuing a long period of historically low inflation. In Obama’s last 3 years, the CPI rose 3%.

Wages — Paychecks continued to grow faster than prices. The average weekly earnings of all private-sector workers, in “real” (inflation-adjusted) terms, rose 2.5% during Trump’s first three years.

Those gains extend a long trend. Real wages took a dive during the Great Recession of 2007-2009, but have been rising since hitting a low point in July 2008. During the Obama years, real weekly earnings rose 4% for all workers.

Home Prices — Home prices soared to record levels under Trump.

The national median price of an existing, single-family home set a record high of $288,500 in June 2019.

Prices have moderated a bit since then, but still stood at $274,000 in November, the most recent monthly figure available. That is $45,300 higher than the median price of $228,700 for homes sold during the month Trump took office — a gain in value of 19.8%.

Trade — The trade deficit that Trump promised to reduce grew much larger during his first three years.

Government figures show that the total U.S. trade deficit in goods and services during the most recent 12 months on record (ending in November) was nearly $624 billion. That’s an increase of $121 billion, or 24%, compared with 2016.

Health Insurance Coverage — The number of people lacking health insurance rose by nearly 2 million under Trump. It was the first time in a decade that this number increased.

Federal Debt and Deficits — The federal debt went up more than $2 trillion under Trump, as trillion-dollar annual federal deficits returned. And there’s no end in sight.

The federal debt stood at $17.2 trillion at the last count on Jan. 16 — an increase of nearly $2.8 trillion since he took office. That’s a 19.3% increase under Trump. And that figure will go up even more quickly in coming years unless Trump and Congress impose massive spending cuts, or reverse course and increase taxes.

Trump’s cuts in corporate and individual income tax rates — as well as bipartisan spending deals he signed in 2018 and 2019 — are causing the red ink to gush even faster than it did before.

Oil Production and Imports — U.S. crude oil production resumed its upward trend under Trump, hitting record levels. Production topped 4 billion barrels in 2018 for the first time on record, and was on track to set another record last year. During the 12 months ending in November (the most recent data available) it hit 4.4 billion barrels. That was 36.4% higher than in all of 2016.

Thanks to Brooks Jackson at FactCheck.org for providing much of this info.

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