Jobs Way Up, Unemployment Low -- But Krugman on Trump 2016: 'A Global Recession, No End in Sight'

Michael W. Chapman | November 1, 2019 | 3:55pm EDT
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( -- The U.S. economy today is doing pretty well, with record-high employment numbers and record-low unemployment numbers for blacks, among other positive indices. Yet back in November 2016 when Donald Trump was elected president, Pulitzer Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman predicted the U.S.  was "probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight."

(Getty Images)

Shortly after midnight, when it looked like Trump was going to win the election, Krugman wrote, "If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never."

"Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news," he wrote. 

"So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow," wrote Krugman. "But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened."

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the jobs numbers for October. They show that a record 158,510,000 Americans are now working, the 23rd such record since President Donald Trump took office.

The nation’s labor force participation rate also set a Trump-era high of 63.3 percent. 

The unemployment rate, which set a 50-year low of 3.5 percent last month, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.6 percent.

But the unemployment rate for black Americans, 5.4 percent in October, has never been this low. 

The number of Americans not in the labor force, but who want a job, totaled 4,880,000 in October, which is an 11-year low.

Susan Jones contributed to this story.

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