Donald Trump achievements: Economic policy and labor

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Official presidential photo of President Donald Trump
Main article: Donald Trump achievements

This article is a non-exhaustive list of achievements by U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration, and Congress related to economic and labor policy.

2017

Legislation signed, 2017

  • March 27, 2017—One of the four Congressional Review bills which Trump signed into law that day repealed Obama's Blacklisting Rule, which would have required firms contracted by federal agencies to disclose every claim of unfair labor practices concerning them – something which would have given unionized contractors an upper-hand. On the same day, President Trump signed an executive order repealing the contracting rule.[1]
  • November 1, 2017—President Trump signed a Congressional Review bill into law repealing a regulation enacted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau banning mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts regarding financial services which would allow consumers to join class-action lawsuits against banks and credit card companies.[2]
  • December 22, 2017—President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax cut bill into law.[3] Despite keeping the number of individual income tax brackets at seven, the bill lowered their rates.[4] It also reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, changed how multinational U.S. companies are taxed, and repealed the ObamaCare individual mandate, among other changes.[4] Because of the tax bill, hundreds of companies announced major bonuses for their employees,[5] and over 100 utilities reduced their rates because of the tax cuts.[6] Most American companies increased their investments due to the tax cuts,[7] and a 2018 study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that companies significantly increased their contributions to defined-benefit pension plans in 2017 because of the cuts.[8] A study by Americans for Tax Reform in 2018 also found that companies expanded benefits for their employees and their families because of the tax cuts.[9] The tax cuts helped achieve other positive economic developments.[10]

Executive actions, 2017

  • February 3, 2017—President Trump signed an order directing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, upon his confirmation, to plan changes to the Dodd-Frank bank regulatory law in order to cut much of it.[11]
  • March 27, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order repealing Obama-era labor law compliance requirements[1] for federal contractors, along with signing a resolution of disapproval that day on the same topic.[12]
  • April 21, 2017—President Trump signed one executive order and two memorandums. The order directed the Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to look at the U.S. tax code and recommend the removal of unnecessary regulations and the two memorandums directing the Treasury Secretary to conduct a review of portions of the Dodd-Frank law.[13]
  • June 15, 2017—President Trump signed executive orders to loosen federal regulations on job-training programs and to encourage apprenticeships and vocational learning.[14]
  • June 16, 2017—The Justice Department under Jeff Sessions officially changed its position on the Supreme Court case NLRB v. Murphy Oil – it is not common for the Justice Department to change its position in court cases.[15]
  • July 28, 2017—The Treasury Department announced it would end an Obama Administration program started in 2015, which was intended to help Americans without 401k plans save for retirement, because it was not cost-effective.[16]
  • September 29, 2017—President Trump disbanded the federal labor-management council, which was created by President Obama, due to it being a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.[17]

Other achievements, 2017

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

Improving economy, growing optimism

The U.S. economy rebounded during President Trump's first year in office.[18] As an illustration of that economic growth in 2017, the Spectrem Group estimated that it caused the country to gain 700,000 new millionaires that year.[19]

  • By the summer of 2017, the economy was clearly improving and growing.[20] The economy rose faster than expected in June 2017, with 222,000 jobs being added,[21] and jobless claims applications and benefits fell.[22] The economy grew faster than expected in July 2017,[23] and it was reported that month that economic growth had increased to 2.6%.[24] The number of job openings greatly increased.[25] The rate of economic growth for the second quarter of 2017 was 3.1%, above the 3% level that Trump pledged to achieve for a sustained period.[26] The U.S. economy again reached 3% economic growth for Q3.[27] By the end of 2017, the U.S. was on track to reach its strongest level of growth since 2005.[28]
  • The unemployment rate decreased, falling to its lowest point in 16 years by the summer of 2017.[29] Also in mid-2017, the black American unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in 17 years,[30][31] and the gap between black and white unemployment fell to the lowest recorded level ever.[32] In December 2017, the black unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, the lowest level ever recorded.[33] The Latino unemployment rate reached its lowest recorded level ever.[31][34] In October 2017, the number of jobless claims fell to the lowest level since 1973 – 44 years,[35] and the number of Americans on unemployment benefits also saw a 44-year low in December 2017.[36]
  • One million new jobs were created in President Trump's first six months in office.[37] Also, 2017 saw the lowest number of job cuts since 1990.[38]
  • The average credit scores of Americans reached an all-time high by July 2017.[39]
  • Food stamp levels fell after Trump took office.[40][41] By August 2017, the number of people on food stamps had fallen by 1.1 million people since the beginning of Trump's presidency,[42] and it was reported in September 2017 that the number of people using food stamps had declined each month of Trump's presidency to that point.[43] By the end of Fiscal Year 2017, the number of people on food stamps had dropped by over 2 million,[44] and the number fell to 2.2 million fewer in Trump's first full year in office.[45] In FY 2017, the federal government spent the lowest amount of money on the food stamp program in seven years.[46] Between October and November 2017, four million people stopped using food stamps,[47] and in December 2017, it dropped by over 500,000.[48] According to the USDA, in 2017, participation in the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) food stamp and welfare program reached its lowest level in 17 years.[49] In 2017, the number of people applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration fell below 1.5 million – the lowest level since 2002, and something attributed to the strong economy.[50] The drop was so large that the SSA had to revise its estimates of how much longer the program would remain financially stable.[50]
  • It was reported in early July that U.S. factory activity rose to its highest level since August 2014.[51] It was reported in September 2017 that U.S. manufacturing reached its highest pace of expansion in six years.[52] According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in October 2017, U.S. factory activity reached its highest level since 2004.[53] Also according to the ISM, in the last three months of 2017, U.S. manufacturing expanded at the fastest rate since 2004.[54]
  • In addition to the improving economy, Americans' confidence and optimism increased.[55] By June 2017, Americans' confidence in the economy had risen,[56] and by August it had reached a 16-year high[57] and had doubled since Trump took office.[58] According to the Consumer Confidence Index in October 2017, consumer confidence surged to a 17-year-high.[59] According to CNBC’s All-American Economic Survey in December 2017, more than half of all people rated the economy as "good" or "excellent," the first time in the survey's 11-year history.[60] It was reported in August 2017 that the optimism of small business owners was at a ten-year high,[61] and overall, 2017 was a very strong year for small business owner optimism.[62] It was reported in late September 2017 that the optimism of manufacturers was the highest it had been in 20 years.[63] In December 2017, homebuilder confidence reached its highest level since July 1999, according to the National Association of Home Builders.[64] Consumer spending rose in September 2017.[65] According to Pew Research Center, public confidence in job growth in October 2017 reached the highest point ever since Pew started keeping track in 2001.[66] According to Gallup in December 2017, Americans were twice as confident in finding a new job compared to five years previously.[67] By the end of 2017, business owners' confidence in the Trump Administration's economic agenda had caused them to begin increasing their investment in the U.S. economy.[68]
  • It was reported in August 2017 that because of the weakening dollar, American corporations had their best earning season in 13 years, with three-quarters of S&P 500 corporations reporting actual earnings above prior estimates and with every sector having at least half its companies meeting or exceeding earnings forecasts.[69]
  • According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. household wealth rose by $1.7 trillion to a record high in the second quarter of 2017.[70] The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2017, U.S. median income reached a record high, adjusting for inflation, and the poverty rate fell to the lowest level since 2006.[71]
  • Home sales unexpectedly surged, reaching their highest level in 10 years by November 2017.[72]
  • On July 26, 2017, the large manufacturing company Foxconn announced it would build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin which would bring about 3,000 jobs to the area.[73] President Trump attended the groundbreaking for the new factory on June 28, 2018.[74]

Trump and the stock market, 2016–2017

Despite expectations that Trump's election victory would cause the markets to plunge,[75] the Dow Jones Industrial Average actually performed very strongly, closing at the highest level it had ever reached in history after the second day.[76] It is rare for the stock market to rise immediately after a U.S. presidential election regardless of the winner.[76] The stock market had its best week in five years due to the optimism of a Trump presidency.[77]

Trump was very busy in his first week and showed he was serious about his campaign promises. This caused the stock market to increase, and the Dow Jones passed 20,000 points for the first time in its history.[78][79] It had been only 42 days since the Dow Jones passed 19,000 points, making it the second-fastest 1,000 point move of the Dow in its history.[80] On March 1, 2017, the day after Trump made his first address to a joint-session of Congress, the stock market rose dramatically again, with the Dow Jones passing the 21,000 mark for the first time in history.[81][82][83] The stock market had one of the best performances in the first 100 days of Trump's presidency compared to the first 100 days of previous presidents in U.S. history.[84] The stock market continued to perform well after President Trump's first 100 days.[85] President Trump played a large role in causing this rise.[86]

On June 1, 2017, the same day President Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, and the day after,[87] the stock market rose strongly, mainly due to news of increased economic growth.[88] On August 2, 2017, the Dow Jones closed above 22,000 for the first time in its history, after six days of consecutive record highs.[89] By early October 2017, the Dow Jones industrial average closed 62 times at record-highs and had risen nearly 25% since the 2016 presidential election.[90] The Dow Jones passed the 23,000 mark for the first time on October 17, 2017 and closed for the first time above 23,000 the next day, the fifth 1,000-point milestone since Trump's election in November 2016.[91] Between Trump inauguration and mid-January 2018, the Dow Jones rose by 31%, the largest rise in the first year of a U.S. presidency since Franklin D. Roosevelt's first year in office,[92] and the S&P 500 rose 23%, the highest ever for a Republican president's first year in office.[93]

Of course, the stock market did not see only growth during the Trump Administration in 2017; on May 17, 2017, for example, the Dow Jones fell 372 points (1.78%) due to the fallout from the James Comey controversy.[94] The stock market also fell after President Trump spoke harshly against North Korea.[95]

2018

By May 2018, the Trump Administration had taken numerous steps to reduce banking regulations, both through legislation and through executive actions.[96] It also continued advancing economic nationalist policies.[97] It took steps to roll back the Obama Administration's labor policy.[98]

Legislation signed, 2018

  • May 24, 2018—President Trump signed a bill into law repealing some financial regulations put into place under the Dodd–Frank law, including reducing the amount of regulation and oversight for banks having under $250 billion in assets.[99] The Act was described as the largest change to U.S. banking regulations since the Dodd–Frank law.[100]

Executive actions, 2018

  • February 15, 2018—The Securities and Exchange Commission blocked a Chinese attempt to buy the Chicago Stock Exchange.[101]
  • May 25, 2018—President Trump signed three executive orders reforming federal workforce rules, such as making it easier to fire federal employees for misconduct, weakening the power of federal labor unions, and making the workforce more efficient and less costly.[102] Among these changes, federal workers were required to use at least 75% of their work time to actually do the jobs they were hired to do rather than doing union-related work.[102] That same day, Trump signed another executive order exempting tour operators from an Obama-era regulation that required a certain minimum wage for those working for companies contracting with the federal government.[103] On July 5, 2018, the White House's Office of Personnel Management moved to implement the orders,[104] and on November 8, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would end the practice of "official time" for its medical employees.[105]
  • July 11, 2018—The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began the process of ending a 2014 Obama Administration regulation that allowed unions to collect dues direct from Medicaid payments to American workers despite a law prohibiting this practice in most cases.[106]
  • July 17, 2018—The Labor Department rescinded an Obama-era regulation – called the "Persuader Rule" – requiring employers to publicly reveal the consultants they hire to help them persuade workers to reject unionization.[107]
  • July 19, 2018—President Trump signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker to help retrain American workers for jobs in a changing economy, and he announced that several major U.S. companies had pledged to retrain workers in the next five years.[108]
  • August 31, 2018—President Trump signed an executive order to make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement plans to their employees.[109] The Department of Labor formally proposed a rule to implement the order on October 22, 2018.[110]
  • October 24, 2018—The National Labor Relations Board issued a memo making it easier for workers to sue their unions for negligence.[111]

Proclamations, 2018

  • September 3, 2018—President Trump issued a strongly-worded Labor Day proclamation, praising American workers and highlighting his pro-worker policies, including on trade, deregulation, taxes, and immigration.[112] The proclamation also stated that "in all economic decisions, we believe in our sovereign obligation to defend and protect our country’s workforce, and to seek its economic interests above that of any other country."[112]

Other achievements, 2018

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • The media noted that Trump's presidency had caused the Republican and Democrat parties to focus on the working class as an important voting group.[113] Blue-collar and union workers shifted toward the GOP, and vice-versa.[114]
  • In the first quarter of 2018, over $300 billion in overseas profits were repatriated to the U.S., more than the amount of money repatriated in 2016 and 2017 combined.[115] By the end of the second quarter of 2018, $465 billion had been repatriated altogether.[116]
  • October 23, 2018—The White House released a 72-page report strongly criticizing socialism and the policies resulting from it.[117]

Continued economic growth

The U.S. economy continued growing, beating expectations,[118] and it performed better than the economies of many European and Asian countries.[119] Even many Democrats recognized that the economy was performing well under President Trump.[120] The economic growth helped President Trump in his trade actions, and it despite the fears of anti-tariff economists.[121]

  • The stock market continued its record-breaking rise.[122] On January 4, 2018, the DOW Jones passed 25,000 points for the first time, after what was the fastest 1,000-point gain in the DOW's history.[123] The three-day government shutdown in late January 2018 did not stop the market's rise.[124] Later in the year, the solid growth phase ended, and the stock market became more volatile and even fell sharply some days,[125] though it still was performing very well by August 2018, reaching the longest bull market ever on August 22, 2018.[126] On September 20, 2018, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 both reached new record highs,[127] coinciding with the Dow's 100th record high since the 2016 presidential election.[128] In the third quarter of 2018, the S&P 500 had its largest gains since 2013.[129]
  • In addition to the stock market, the economy continued going well,[130] and economists credited President Trump for it.[131] U.S. manufacturing continued its expansion at a robust pace in January 2018,[132] and in February 2018 it expanded at its fastest pace since May 2004.[133] It was reported in March 2018 that in the previous 12 months, more manufacturing jobs had been created since 1998,[134] and by the end of June, 362,000 manufacturing jobs had been created since the beginning of Trump's presidency, meaning that the number of employed manufacturing workers reached a ten-year high.[135] The number increased to 400,000 the following month.[136] By July 2018, manufacturing job growth was experiencing its best year since 1995,[137] and it remained that way through early October 2018.[138] The number of manufacturing jobs created in President Trump's first 21 months exceeded the number created in Obama's first 21 months by a factor of ten.[139] Manufacturing had a very strong month in June 2018,[140] and the Institute of Supply Management reported that U.S. manufacturing activity in August 2018 expanded at the strongest pace in fourteen years.[141] The Labor Department reported that 32,000 manufacturing jobs had been created in October 2018, the largest expansion of manufacturing jobs in the month of October since 1998.[142] The Federal Reserve reported that in October 2018, manufacturing output rose more than expected.[143]
  • Among other positive statistics, job security increased for factory workers compared to previous periods of economic growth.[144] Between July 2017 and July 2018, blue-collar jobs grew at the fastest rate since 1984, and they also grew faster than service jobs along the more liberal coastlines.[145] The number of homebuilding permits in the U.S. rose in January 2018 to the highest level since 2007,[146] and in May 2018, homebuilding almost reached an 11-year high.[147] Because of high shipping demand in the strong economy, truck factories saw very high backlogs.[148] According to the National Federation of Independent Business in July 2018, the hiring of new employees by small businesses reached a 12-year-high, and the percentage of business owners planning on creating new jobs reached a record high.[149] Labor Department reported that worker productivity in the second and third quarters of 2018 had the best back-to-back performance in four years, even though it did not rise as much as hoped in the third quarter.[150]
  • The Commerce Department reported in August 2018 that corporate profits in the past year had risen at the largest rate in six years.[151]
  • 2018 saw strong wage growth. In January 2018, wages grew at the fastest pace since 2009.[152] In April 2018, the Department of Labor reported that wages were rising at the fastest rate since 2008.[153] According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in June 2018, wages for manufacturing workers and miners rose by double-digits in the First Quarter of 2018, among other positive news – and prior to Trump's presidency, wages for miners had been shrinking for nine consecutive months.[154] According to the Commerce Department, wages continued to rise in may even as spending on utilities fell.[155] The recruitment and wage-tracking company Glassdoor reported in July 2018 that blue-collar and working-class jobs had seen strong wage growth, even as college-graduate jobs saw wages stagnate.[156] Even wages for interns rose due to the tightening job market.[157] According to the Labor Department in July 2018, American workers saw the largest increase in wages and benefits over the previous twelve months since September 2008,[158] and the Commerce Department reported the same day that household incomes were rising on pace with consumer spending.[159] According to the National Federation of Independent Business in July 2018, a relatively large proportion of small businesses were raising their workers' wages.[160] The Labor Department reported in early September 2018 that wage in the previous year grew at the fastest rate since 2009.[161] An October 2018 American Enterprise Institute analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data found that the working class was seeing large wage growth due to a tight job market.[162] The Labor Department reported that wages for private-sector American workers in the third quarter of 2018 rose at the highest level since the second quarter of 2008,[163] and two days later, it reported that wage growth in the past year was the most since 2009.[164] Credit Suisse reported in November 2018 that 878,000 Americans became millionaires in the previous 12 months.[165] Other examples exist of American workers seeing rising wages in 2018.[166] Despite all this, some government data in 2018 indicated that inflation was rising faster than wage growth, showing that the claimed labor shortage often used to justify mass migration did not actually exist.[167]
  • In January 2018, the Department of Labor reported that the number of jobless claims was far lower than expected and at a 45-year-low.[168] In February 2018, the number of jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since 1969 – 49 years[169] – and the same happened in April 2018.[170] The number of jobless claims remained at record low levels,[171] and it performed better than expected, as illustrated with several reports in June 2018.[172] It was reported in April 2018 that jobless claims stayed below 300,000 for the longest period on record, since records began in 1967.[173] In addition to this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in April 2018 that in the past year, 14 states recorded record-low unemployment levels, including eight in the previous month alone.[174] In April 2018, the unemployment fell to 3.9%, the lowest level since 2000.[175] According to a Rasmussen Reports rating released in May 2018, the number of Americans who knew an unemployed person fell by nearly half since 2011.[176] On June 1, 2018, the Labor Department released an especially positive report on U.S. economic growth, with significantly more jobs created in May than expected and the unemployment rate reaching an 18-year low.[177] The country saw greater job growth than expected in June 2018,[178] and while the unemployment increased slightly, analysts actually saw this as a good sign for the economy.[179] In July 2018, the number of jobless claims again fell to the lowest level since 1969,[180] and while they rose very slightly later that month, the data indicated a strong labor market.[181] The July 2018 jobs report continued to show a strong economy, though job growth was slower than previous months,[182] and the report found that the proportion of employed prime-aged Americans reached its highest level since May 2008.[183] In early August 2018, jobless claims unexpectedly fell despite trade war fears.[184] The Labor Department reported that the youth unemployment rate in July 2018 fell to its lowest level in 52 years.[185] In early September 2018, the number of jobless claims again fell to the lowest level since 1969,[186] and the Labor Department reported that job growth in August 2018 again beat expectations.[161] The Labor Department reported that in September 2018, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.7%, the lowest level since 1969.[187] In mid-October 2018, the number of continuing jobless claims – as opposed to new jobless claims – fell to the lowest level since 1973, a 45-year low.[188] In November 2018, the Labor Department released a very strong jobs report for the previous month, showing 250,000 jobs created in October and the unemployment rate at a 49-year low, among other positive news.[164]
  • As a sign of how strong the economy was performing and of how well the U.S. had recovered from the 2008 recession, the Labor Department reported that the number of job openings in March 2018 had reached a record high since the data started being recorded and was equal to the number of unemployed workers.[189] The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in April 2018, the number of job openings again hit a record high, now exceeding the number of unemployed Americans looking for jobs.[190] In August 2018, the number of job openings exceeded 7 million for the first time and exceeded the number of unemployed Americans,[191] and in September 2018, the number of job openings outnumbered unemployed Americans by over 1 million.[192]
  • In July 2018, the Commerce Department announced that Second Quarter economic growth reached 4.1% – the highest level since 2014 – among other strong statistics, including rising export levels, decreasing inflation, and high consumer spending.[193] The Trump Administration reported that in the Third Quarter of 2018, economic growth reached 3.5%, higher than expected.[194]
  • Unemployment rates for ethnic minorities continued reaching record lows.[195] In May 2018, the black unemployment rate also hit a record low,[196] and in June 2018, the Hispanic unemployment rate also reached a record low.[197] Hispanic unemployment hit another record low in July 2018.[198] Asian unemployment fell to the lowest level ever recorded in May 2018.[195][199] According to the Minority 2018 Small Business Trends survey, the number of black-owned businesses increased 400% between 2017 and 2018.[200] The employment to population ratio for blacks rose faster than for white-skinned people, and by 2018, the proportion of employed blacks was the closest to that of whites since the government started tracking that data in 1972.[201] In addition to ethnic minorities, women benefited from the Trump economy.[202]
  • The unemployment rate for Americans with the least formal education reached record lows. In July 2018, the unemployment rate for high school dropouts reached a record low,[203] while the unemployment rate for college dropouts remained at a 17-year-low.[204]
  • The difference between job growth for foreign-born workers versus American-born workers narrowed in May and June 2018, to the advantage of the American-born workers.[205] Because of the Trump Administration's visa policies, American businesses made a stronger effort to American college graduates rather than foreigners.[206] Among other positive developments, the tight job market reported caused businesses to increase their hiring of disabled Americans.[207]
  • Confidence continued to rise. According to a Job Creators Network survey in January 2018, 64% of small business owners believed President Trump's policies had helped their businesses.[208] According to the National Federal of Independent Business in February 2018, a record number of small business owners believed that it was now a good time to expand.[209] Also, in February, consumer confidence rose significantly.[210] The National Federation of Business reported in March 2018 that American small business owners were more optimistic about the economy than any other point in the previous 35 years.[211] According to the University of Michigan in March 2018, consumer confidence reached its highest point since 2004.[212] Consumer confidence remained strong by May 2018.[213] According to the NFIB in May 2018, small business optimism remained at record levels and they were experiencing a record growth in profits,[214] and later that month it reported that a record proportion of small businesses were raising wages for their workers.[215] According to Gallup in May 2018, 67% of Americans – a record number – believed that it was currently a good time to find good jobs.[216] According to the NFIB in June 2018, small business optimism the previous month rose to its highest level in 34 years and second highest level in 45 years.[217] In May 2018, retail sales grew far faster than expected, a sign of consumer confidence,[218] and the University of Michigan also reported increased confidence in June 2018.[219] According to a National Association of Manufacturers survey in June 2018, 95.1% of manufacturers had a "positive outlook for their companies," the highest number in the survey's 20-year existence.[220] According to CNBC's All-American Economic Survey, 51% of Americans approved of President Trump's handling of the economy, and 54% believed the economy was doing excellent or good, the highest-recorded number in the survey's ten-year history.[221] According to the Small Business Optimism Index, small business confidence remained at very high levels in June 2018,[222] and the Confidence Board reported strong consumer confidence – at the highest level since 2001 – in July 2018.[223] In August 2018, the Small Business Optimism Index reached the second highest level in its existence and the highest since 1983,[224] and a CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey in late July and early August 2018 found that a record percentage of small business owners were confident about business conditions.[225] Retail sales rose strongly in July 2018, more than expected.[226] According to the National Association of Home Builders, homebuilding confidence remained strong in August 2018.[227] According to the Conference Board, U.S. consumer confidence in August 2018 reached its highest level since October 2000.[228] The Conference Board also reported that job satisfaction reached the highest level since 2005,[229] and Gallup reported about the same time that "employee engagement" tied its highest level in the survey's existence.[230] The National Federation of Independent Business reported that its Small Business Optimism Index reached its highest level ever, surpassing the previous record set in 1983.[231] In early September 2018, the University of Michigan again reported strong consumer confidence, the second highest since 2004,[232] and in late September, it found that consumer confidence for lower-income Americans reached the highest level since November 2000.[233] A Gallup poll released in September 2018 found that the proportion of Americans who saw the economy as the most important problem facing the country reached the lowest level the survey ever recorded.[234] The Conference Board reported in late September 2018 that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to the highest level in 18 years.[235] The National Association of Manufacturers reported in October 2018 that manufacturing confidence reached its highest level in the 20 years of the organization's survey's existence.[236] The University of Michigan found in October 2018 that confidence in economic policy reached a 15-year high.[237] According to CNBC's All-America Economic Survey in October 2018, the percentage of Americans optimistic about the current and future economy reached the highest level in the survey's 11-year history and over double the percentage from December 2016.[238] In October 2018, the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence had increased, reaching its highest level since September 2000.[239] A Washington Post poll in November 2018 found that economic optimism had reached an 18-year high.[240] The University of Michigan reported in November 2018 that consumer confidence remained at very high levels, keeping the U.S. on pace to have the highest yearly confidence since 2000.[241] The NFIB reported in November 2018 that small business optimism remained at near-record high levels.[242] The Commerce Department reported that in October 2018, retail sales and consumer spending strongly increased.[243]
  • In 2018, the number of Americans voluntarily quitting their jobs rose to a 17-year high, indicating strong economic conditions and high confidence in the job market.[244]
  • Partially due to the high levels of economic growth in the U.S. – though also attributed to the Trump Administration's efforts to crack down on fraud – enrollment on food stamps fell to its lowest level in eight years.[245] By July 2018, the number of people on food stamps fell to the lowest level since November 2009,[246] and participation continued to fall.[247]
  • By June 2018, the Iron Range of Minnesota was experiencing a strong and rapid economic turnaround after years of poor economic conditions.[248] In the South, the Commerce Department reported that home sales in the region in May 2018 rose 17.9%, the highest level since July 2007.[249] The media also pointed out Iowa's strong economic performance.[250] A tightening labor market helped increase wages in Wisconsin.[251] Peoria County, Illinois, saw 24% wage growth in a year because of a manufacturing boom in the area.[252] Factories in Texas expanded at a strong pace,[253] and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond found strong manufacturing growth in the fifth Federal Reserve district.[254]
  • According to the World Economic Forum's annual Global Competitiveness Report, released in October 2018, the U.S. became the world's most competitive economy for the first time since 2008.[255]

Failures, 2018

  • By mid-2018, the Trump Administration had come to fully support the Export-Import Bank of Washington, despite its numerous problems.[256] This came after President Trump made statements supporting the bank in 2017 despite opposing it during his 2016 presidential campaign,[257] and after the U.S. Senate rejected the administration's nomination of Scott Garrett, a critic of the bank, to lead it.[258]

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  41. Rodriguez, Katherine (December 25, 2017). Seven Reasons 2017 Was the Year of the Food Stamp Turnaround. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  42. Rodriguez, Katherine (August 7, 2017). More Than 1.1 Million Fewer Americans on Food Stamps Under Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
    Food stamp enrollment fell in 46 out of the 50 states: By October 2017, the number of people on food stamps had fallen 1.5 million since Trump's election:
  43. Rodriguez, Katherine (September 18, 2017). Food Stamp Usage Has Fallen Every Month of Trump Presidency. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  44. Multiple references: For data at the end of the calendar year 2017:
  45. Rodriguez, Katherine (May 10, 2018). 2.2 Million Fewer People on Food Stamps Under Donald Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  46. Rodriguez, Katherine (December 12, 2017). Food Stamp Program Costs Hit Seven-Year Low. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  47. Rodriguez, Katherine (February 7, 2018). Food Stamp Enrollment Drops by Four Million in One Month. Breitbart News. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  48. Rodriguez, Katherine (April 15, 2018). Food Stamp Usage Drops over Half-Million in a Single Month. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
    See also:
  49. Rodriguez, Katherine (December 24, 2017). WIC Welfare Participation Hits 17-Year Low. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  50. 50.0 50.1 Multiple references:
  51. Survey: US factory activity rises to near a 3-year high. Breitbart News (from the Associated Press). July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  52. Multiple references:
  53. Multiple references:
  54. Multiple references:
  55. Carney, John (December 22, 2017). 2017 Consumer Sentiment Highest Since 2000. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  56. Multiple references:
  57. Rodriguez, Katherine (August 10, 2017). Report: American Confidence in the Economy Reaches 16-Year High. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  58. Bedard, Paul (August 16, 2017). Boom: Confidence in Trump economy nearly doubles. Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  59. Multiple references: According to a survey earlier that month by the University of Michigan, consumer confidence reached a 13-year-high: See also:
  60. Carney, John (December 18, 2017). American Economic Optimism Soars, Breaks CNBC Survey Record. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  61. Meyer, Ali (August 6, 2017). Optimism of Small-Business Owners at Highest Level Seen in Decade. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
    See also:
  62. Carney, John (January 9, 2018). America’s Small Business Optimism Hit Record High in 2017. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  63. Meyer, Ali (September 29, 2017). Manufacturer Optimism Hits Record High After Tax Reform Plan Revealed. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  64. Multiple references:
  65. Elis, Niv (October 30, 2017). Consumer spending soars in September. The Hill. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  66. Multiple references:
  67. Multiple references:
  68. Appelbaum, Binyamin; Tankersley, Jim (January 1, 2018). The Trump Effect: Business, Anticipating Less Regulation, Loosens Purse Strings. The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  69. Multiple references:
  70. Multiple references:
  71. Multiple references:
  72. Multiple references:
  73. Multiple references: See also:
  74. Multiple references: See also:
  75. Carney, John (November 8, 2017). All the Experts Who Told Us Stocks Would Crash if Trump Won. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  76. 76.0 76.1 La Monica, Paul R. (November 10, 2016). The 'yuge' Donald Trump market rally continues. CNN Money. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  77. Craig, Victoria (November 11, 2016). Trump Optimism Propels Dow to Best Week in Five Years. Fox Business. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  78. Imbert, Fred (January 25, 2017). Dow closes above 20,000 for first time as Trump orders send stocks flying. CNBC. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  79. Craig, Victoria (January 25, 2017). Dow Races Past 20K in Reinvigorated Trump Rally. Fox Business. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  80. Decambre, Mark (January 25, 2017). Dow clambers above 20,000 — marks 2nd-fastest run to a milestone in history. MarketWatch. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  81. Witkowski, Wallace; Mahmudova, Anora (March 1, 2017). Dow closes above 21,000 as stocks soar after Trump speech. MarketWatch. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  82. Holcomb, John (March 1, 2017). The Trump Bump: Stock Market Hits 21,000 for the First Time in History. Townhall. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  83. DeSoto, Randy (March 1, 2017). Stock Market Hits New High Following Trump’s Speech To Congress. Western Journalism. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  84. Multiple references:
  85. Harper, Jennifer (July 13, 2017). Soaring stock market a symbol of the Trump age. The Washington Times. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  86. Carney, John (August 10, 2017). Kocherlakota Explains Why Trump Is Driving the Stock Market Higher. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  87. Witkowski, Wallace; Mahmudova, Anora (June 2, 2017). Stock market closes at records as tech leads gains. MarketWatch. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  88. Multiple references: Fox Business. Retrieved June 3, 2017. However, coal and oil stocks decreased on June 1:
  89. Multiple references:
  90. Multiple references: Even the left-wing Mother Jones admitted that the stock market was doing well under President Trump, despite trying to belittle the achievement:
  91. Multiple references:
  92. Multiple references:
  93. Otani, Akane (January 16, 2018). Stock Market Roared During Donald Trump’s First Year, Boosted by Earnings and Tax Cut. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  94. Craig, Victoria (May 17, 2017). Trump-Comey Turmoil Socks Wall Street, Stocks See Worst Day in Eight Months. Fox Business. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  95. Multiple references:
  96. Multiple references:
  97. Ip, Greg (July 20, 2018). President's Emerging Economic Policy: Picking Winners and Losers. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
    See also:
  98. Higgins, Sean (October 23, 2018). Trump administration set to scrap much of Obama's labor legacy in 2019. Washington Examiner. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  99. Multiple references: Despite the law's changes, it did not go as far as conservatives had wanted in rolling back the Dodd–Frank law: See also:
  100. Multiple references:
  101. Multiple references:
  102. 102.0 102.1 Multiple references: See also:
  103. Multiple references:
  104. Multiple references:
  105. Multiple references:
  106. Multiple references:
  107. Multiple references: See also:
  108. Multiple references: See also:
  109. Multiple references:
  110. Multiple references: See also:
  111. Multiple references: See also:
  112. 112.0 112.1 Multiple references: See also:
  113. Owens, Caitlin (May 23, 2018). Trump's legacy: Workers, front and center. Axios. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  114. Multiple references:
  115. Multiple references:
  116. Multiple references: See also:
  117. Multiple references:
  118. Multiple references: For example, the February 2018 jobs report: The economy did not exceed expectations in March 2018, though the data still showed a strong market: See also:
  119. Multiple references: Specifically regarding the stock market: See also:
  120. Parnes, Amie (May 12, 2018). Dems worry Trump will win over economy. The Hill. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
    See also: However, the media tried to attribute the economic growth to Obama:
  121. Multiple references:
  122. Carney, John (January 12, 2018). The Stock Market is Doing it Again: 2018 Opens with a Massive Rally. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
    See also:
  123. Multiple references:
  124. Carney, John (January 22, 2018). S&P 500 and Nasdaq Hit Record Highs as Stock Shrug Off Schumer Shutdown. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  125. Multiple references: See also:
  126. Multiple references: The S&P the day prior: See also: The S&P 500 and several other stock market indexes reached record highs two days later:
  127. Multiple references: The stock market saw this growth despite fears of it doing the opposite because of President Trump's trade policies:
  128. Multiple references:
  129. Multiple references: See also:
  130. Multiple references:
  131. Carney, John (January 12, 2018). WSJ: Economists Credit Trump with Economic Growth. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  132. Carney, John (February 1, 2018). U.S. Manufacturing Expanded in January at Close to Strongest Pace Since 2004. Breitbart News. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  133. Multiple references:
  134. Carney, John (March 9, 2018). This Is the Greatest Manufacturing Jobs Boom in Twenty Years. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  135. Multiple references: See also:
  136. Jeffrey, Terence P. (August 3, 2018). Manufacturing Jobs Up 400,000 Under Trump; +37,000 in July. CNS News. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  137. Multiple references:
  138. Carney, John (October 5, 2018). Manufacturing Jobs Growth is Best Since 1995. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
    See also:
  139. Multiple references:
  140. Multiple references:
  141. Multiple references:
  142. Multiple references: See also:
  143. Multiple references: See also:
  144. Morath, Eric (July 10, 2018). Factory Workers’ New Perk: Job Security. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  145. Multiple references:
  146. Multiple references:
  147. Multiple references:
  148. Smith, Jennifer (July 5, 2018). Truck-Factory Backlogs Soar on Heavy Demand for Big Rigs. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  149. Binder, John (August 5, 2018). Winning: American Small Businesses Hiring Workers Hits 12-Year High. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  150. Multiple references:
  151. Torry, Harriet; Francis, Theo (August 29, 2018). U.S. Corporate Profits Soared in Second Quarter, Boosted by Tax Cuts and Economic Growth. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  152. Multiple references:
  153. Multiple references:
  154. Carney, John (June 26, 2018). The Trump Boom Yields Huge Gains for Manufacturing and Mining Workers. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  155. Carney, John (June 29, 2018). A Very Trumpian May: American Incomes and Savings Rose While Utility Bills Fell. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
    See also:
  156. Munro, Neil (July 3, 2018). Blue-Collar Wages Rising in Red-Hot Economy. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  157. Multiple references:
  158. Multiple references:
  159. Multiple references:
  160. Binder, John (August 5, 2018). Trump’s Tight Labor Market Increases Wages for Small Business Workers. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
    See also:
  161. 161.0 161.1 Multiple references: See also:
  162. Binder, John (October 29, 2018). Working Class Americans Secure Massive Wage Hikes from Trump’s Tight Labor Market. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  163. Multiple references:
  164. 164.0 164.1 Multiple references: See also:
  165. Multiple references:
  166. Multiple references: See also:
  167. Multiple references: The value of employer benefits grew more quickly than wages: See also:
  168. Multiple references: See also:
  169. Multiple references:
  170. Multiple references:
  171. Multiple references:
  172. Multiple references: For June 22, 2018:
  173. Multiple references:
  174. Multiple references:
  175. Multiple references: See also:
  176. Bedard, Paul (May 11, 2018). Jobless rating at 8-year low, huge confidence in jobs market. Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  177. Multiple references:
  178. Multiple references: See also:
  179. Multiple references: Jobless claims fell again shortly afterward:
  180. Multiple references:
  181. Multiple references:
  182. Multiple references: See also:
  183. Caplan, Joshua (August 3, 2018). Jobs for Everyone! Largest Share of Working Age Americans with Jobs in a Decade. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
    See also:
  184. Multiple references: Jobless claims fell again the following weeks:
  185. Duehren, Andrew (August 16, 2018). Youth Unemployment Hits 52-Year Low. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
    See also:
  186. Multiple references: They remained at a record low the following week: The Labor Department reported on September 20, 2018, that jobless claims fell again to the lowest level since 1969: Jobless claims remained at very low levels in the week ending September 29:
  187. Multiple references: See also:
  188. Multiple references: Continuing claims remained low: They again remained at record low levels according to the Labor Department's November 1, 2018, report:
  189. Multiple references:
  190. Multiple references: See also:
  191. Multiple references: See also:
  192. Multiple references:
  193. Multiple references: See also: In August 2018, the Q2 growth rate was revised upward to 4.2%: See also:
  194. Multiple references: See also:
  195. 195.0 195.1 Multiple references: Specifically regarding Hispanics: See also:
  196. Multiple references:
  197. Multiple references: The same report also showed low black unemployment numbers:
  198. Multiple references:
  199. Record-low jobless rates for black Americans and Asians. Chicago Tribune (from the Associated Press). June 5, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  200. Multiple references: See also:
  201. Brown, Courtenay (October 6, 2018). Black people are jumping back faster into the workforce. Axios. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  202. Multiple references:
  203. Multiple references:
  204. Binder, John (August 3, 2018). Unemployment Rate for College Dropouts Remains at 17-Year Low. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  205. Binder, John (July 17, 2018). Job Growth for Foreign-Born Workforce Falls, Native-Born Americans Gain. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
    See also:
  206. Multiple references:
  207. Binder, John (August 1, 2018). Trump’s Tight Labor Market: Businesses Increasingly Hiring Disabled Americans. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  208. Meyer, Ali (January 25, 2018). Survey: 64% of Small Business Owners Believe Trump’s Policies Have Helped Their Business. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  209. Multiple references:
  210. Multiple references:
  211. Carney, John (March 13, 2018). Small Business Optimism Jumps to Highest Since 1983. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  212. Multiple references:
  213. Multiple references:
  214. Multiple references: Freeman, James (May 3, 2018). Small Business Still Soaring. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  215. Multiple references:
  216. Multiple references:
  217. Multiple references:
  218. Multiple references: See also:
  219. Multiple references: The University of Michigan's data for early July 2018:
  220. Multiple references:
  221. Multiple references:
  222. Carney, John (June 10, 2018). Small Business Optimism Beats Expectations, Near All-Time High in June. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
    See also:
  223. Multiple references:
  224. Multiple references:
  225. Multiple references: See also:
  226. Multiple references: See also:
  227. Carney, John (August 15, 2018). Home Builder Sentiment Remains Strong in August. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
    However, home constructions grew less than expected:
  228. Multiple references:
  229. Multiple references:
  230. Harter, Jim (August 26, 2018). Employee Engagement on the Rise in the U.S. Gallup. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  231. Multiple references: Small business optimism remained at high levels:
  232. Multiple references: See also:
  233. Multiple references: See also:
  234. Multiple references:
  235. Multiple references:
  236. Multiple references:
  237. Multiple references:
  238. Multiple references:
  239. Multiple references:
  240. Bedard, Paul (November 4, 2018). Boom: Highest economic optimism in nearly 18 years, 85% doing well. Washington Examiner. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  241. Multiple references:
  242. Multiple references:
  243. Multiple references:
  244. Multiple references:
  245. O'Reilly, Andrew (June 18, 2018). Food stamp enrollment falls to 8-year low as Trump clamps down on fraud, economy improves. Fox News. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
    See also:
  246. Rodriguez, Katherine (October 8, 2018). Food Stamp Enrollment Dips to Lowest Level Since November 2009. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  247. Rodriguez, Katherine (November 11, 2018). Food Stamp Participation Reaches Lowest Level in Nearly a Decade. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  248. Multiple references: See also:
  249. Multiple references:
  250. Multiple references:
  251. Binder, John (July 25, 2018). Trump’s Tight Labor Market Delivers Wage Increases for Wisconsin Rust Belt. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  252. Multiple references:
  253. Carney, John (September 24, 2018). Texas Factories Keep Expanding Production Despite Trade War Worries. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
    See also:
  254. Multiple references:
  255. Multiple references: See also:
  256. Multiple references: See also:
  257. Multiple references:
  258. Multiple references: See also: