America has added more than a million jobs since President Trump took office.
The U.S. economy added a strong 209,000 jobs in July, more than economists had expected. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, matching a 16-year low. Just after the Great Recession in 2009, unemployment peaked at 10%.
“The economy is looking pretty good,” said Cathy Barrera, chief economic adviser at ZipRecruiter, the job posting site.
Many economists say the United States is at or near “full employment,” meaning the unemployment rate won’t go down significantly more.
The job market continues to be one of the main strengths of the U.S. economy. July was the 82nd consecutive month of job growth.
But wage growth is sluggish. Wages grew only 2.5% in July. The Federal Reserve would like to see wage growth kick up to 3.5%.
The United States has added 1.07 million jobs during Trump’s six months in office. Of course, he isn’t entirely responsible for the job market’s wins and losses. A slew of factors throughout the economy affects hiring decisions.
The good economic news comes days after Trump endorsed an immigration plan aimed at lowering the number of foreign-born workers by designing a skills-based system to determine who gets into the United States. Last year, there were 27 million foreign-born workers in the United States.
Several economists say the plan would put U.S. economic growth at risk if it meant there would be fewer workers in America. Economic growth is already paltry, and Trump has promised to boost it to 3% from its current range of about 2%.
“It would definitely slow economic growth if you slow the number of people coming in,” said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual, an insurance firm.