The U.S. jobs report for the month of May was released on Friday — and the results were promising. More new jobs were added to the U.S. economy than expected, the unemployment rate dipped down to a measly 3.8 percent, and average hourly wages rose about 2.7 percent.
But despite the stellar report, critics of President Donald Trump still had something to complain about. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi found just one key economic metric that lagged behind the others — and she didn’t hesitate to blame Trump and Republicans for it.
Pelosi released a statement on Friday which dismissed all of the great economic news in the report to focus on the fact that wages weren’t rising quite as fast as some of the report’s other key metrics.
“May’s jobs report shows that strong employment numbers mean little to the families hit with soaring new costs under the Republicans’ watch,” Pelosi said.
She went on to blame rising health care costs on Republican “sabotage,” and even claimed that big corporations were hoarding their profits from what she repeatedly called the “GOP tax scam.”
“At the same time, the president’s reckless policies are exploding gas prices, wiping out the few meager gains that some families should have received from the GOP tax scam, as wages remain stagnant,” Pelosi said.
She added: “Thanks to the massive windfall of the GOP tax scam, Wall Street and wealthy corporations are on track to spend $1 trillion on dividends and stock buybacks while simultaneously announcing tens of thousands of layoffs and shipping jobs overseas and refusing to raise workers’ wages.”
It is true that wages haven’t been rising at a rapid clip similar to other economic metrics — but they aren’t exactly “stagnant” either, at least not as stagnant as wage growth was during the tenure of former President Barack Obama, according to information compiled by the Economic Policy Institute‘s Nominal Wage Tracker.
While the Institute suggested healthy wage growth should be in the 3.5 to 4 percent range, it hasn’t been there since the economic crash and recession of 2008.
Following a low point in 2012-13, when wage growth was barely higher than 1 percent, the rate steadily climbed over the course of 2015 through 2017, and it appears poised to track much higher than 2.7 percent as 2018 progresses.
The truth is, the U.S. economy is booming right now in large part because of President Trump’s tax-trade and deregulatory policies, even if wage growth is still lagging behind everything else.
That good news doesn’t help Democrats like Pelosi ahead of this year’s midterms, though, so she and her colleagues will continue reaching for anything they can use to bash Trump, as embarrassingly hypocritical as that may be.