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Job creation hot streak continues, as May totals break a record

For the first time on record, the U.S. economy has now had 12 straight months with jobs gains above 400,000.


Expectations heading into this morning showed projections of about 400,000 new jobs added in the United States in April. As it turns out, according to the new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the preliminary tally suggests the domestic job market did a little better than that. CNBC News reported this morning:

The U.S. economy added slightly more jobs than expected in April amid an increasingly tight labor market and despite surging inflation and fears of a growth slowdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Nonfarm payrolls grew by 428,000 for the month, a bit above the Dow Jones estimate of 400,000. The unemployment rate was 3.6%, slightly higher than the estimate for 3.5%.

Note, the U.S. economy has now had 12 straight monthly jobs gains above 400,000. According to a Wall Street Journal report, that’s never happened since the government started maintaining national jobs records in 1939.

The news wasn’t all great: Job totals from February and March were both revised down a bit. That said, the overall picture is absolutely worth celebrating: So far in 2022, the economy has created over 2 million jobs, and that’s after just four months. By any fair measure, that’s an extraordinary total, which is nearly identical to the total of jobs created in all of 2019.

What’s more, the nation’s 3.6 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since President Joe Biden took office, and is nearly as low as the 3.5 percent rate from before the start of the economic crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic. All told, the U.S. economy has now gained back roughly 95 percent of its pandemic job losses — and it’s happened faster than hardly anyone thought possible a year ago.

As for the politics, let’s circle back to previous coverage to put the data in perspective. Over the course of the first three years of Donald Trump’s term — when the then-Republican president said the United States’ economy was the greatest in the history of the planet — the economy created roughly 6.5 million jobs. This includes all of 2017, 2018, and 2019.

According to the latest tally, since January 2021, the U.S. economy created 8.8 million jobs — well above the combined total of Trump’s first three years.

In recent months, Republicans have responded to these developments by pretending not to notice them. I have a hunch GOP officials will keep the trend going today.