The U.S. economy only added 130,000 jobs in August, further exacerbating worries that the economy may be facing a recession. In response, President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday morning that the economy was in good shape, but that the “fake news” was trying to stoke fears of a slowing economy. Experts speculate the president’s ongoing trade war may be behind the current economic fears, as The Washington Post reported.
“The Economy is great. The only thing adding to ‘uncertainty’ is the Fake News!” he tweeted.
Economists expected jobs to grow by 160,000 in August, but hiring slowed, particularly in manufacturing, mining, retail, and trucking. These industries are thought to be the most impacted by Trump’s trade war with China.
Additionally concerning, 25,000 people were hired temporarily to handle the 2020 government census, which means that businesses added only 96,000 jobs, the lowest number since May this year.
That said, the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent, which is close to the lowest it has been in 50 years. Last year, monthly job growth averaged 192,000, slowing to 143,000 this year.
The job numbers are adding to concerns that the economy is cooling as manufacturing has slowed and businesses have stopped spending. The stock market has gradually dropped, as well, prompting talk about a recession.
Experts say that the trade war is likely to blame for the cooling economy. Trump announced that he would impose tariffs on Chinese imports, escalating the ongoing trade war and raising concerns about an anemic holiday shopping season.
Trump, on the other hand, has maintained that the economy is headed in a positive direction. In addition, he has blamed both his appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell and the media for any reported signs of weakness in the economy.
The American Economy under @realDonaldTrump is BOOMING.— Team Trump (@TeamTrump) September 6, 2019
???? Over 6 million jobs ADDED
???? Unemployment is historically LOW
???? Wages are UP
The August #JobsReport is STRONG!#TrumpEconomy pic.twitter.com/iXKC5yM24P
“I agree with @jimcramer, the Fed should lower rates. They were WAY too early to raise, and Way too late to cut – and big dose quantitative tightening didn’t exactly help either. Where did I find this guy Jerome? Oh well, you can’t win them all!” Trump tweeted.
He has also claimed that he has willingly sacrificed economic growth in order to address what he sees as a trade imbalance with China. While speaking with reporters at the White House, he boasted that he believed he was “the chosen one” to take on the trade war, according to Business Insider.
“Let me tell you, if I wanted to do nothing with China, my stock market, our stock market, would be 10,000 points higher than it is right now,” Trump said. “But somebody had to do this. To me, this is much more important than the economy… It was out of control. And they were out of control.”