Jobs, jobs, jobs

Yesterday Trump tweeted, “It’s finally happening – Fiat Chrysler just announced plans to invest $1BILLION in Michigan and Ohio plants, adding 2000 jobs.”

That’s great news for the people getting those jobs, but what’s this “finally”? Under Obama, the U.S. has been adding about 200,000 jobs every month, a total of 15.8 million more jobs over the past 82 months. In fact, we’re in the midst of the longest period of private-sector job growth on record.

True, the jobs referenced in Trump’s tweet are manufacturing jobs, which tend to pay better. Fair enough. They’re still a drop in the bucket, and the big problem with manufacturing employment is the growth of robotics and automation. The unfortunate reality is that the millions of manufacturing jobs of the 1950s aren’t likely to come back. We need to focus on improving pay for all jobs, expanding high-paying skilled jobs, and getting workers trained in those skills. We also need to think about how to deal with advanced AI that’s starting to replace a wider and wider variety of jobs.

Trump isn’t saying much about that, just taking credit (or as above, hinting he should get credit) for a few thousand jobs here and there (see Steve Benen’s recent post about that) and trusting his fans won’t realize that the jobs he talks about are a relative drop in the bucket, and in most (but not all) cases have nothing to do with Trump anyway.

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