Do you remember when candidate Trump was courting black voters and asked “What the hell do you have to lose?” during a campaign rally? The line caused some buzz and Trump went on to repeat it. Trump received 8% of the black vote in 2016, besting Mitt Romney’s total in 2012. That 8% must feel vindicated after the good economic news Friday – black unemployment is at a historical low.
Black unemployment fell to 6.8 percent in December, the lowest ever recorded by the U.S. Labor Department since it began tracking the black unemployment rate in 1972.
Economists say it’s a sign the recovery from the Great Recession is finally starting to help a wider swath of the U.S. population.
During the aftermath of the financial crisis, black unemployment soared to 16.8 percent in 2010, meaning more than 1 out of every 6 African Americans was looking for a job but could not find one. The rate has steadily declined since, breaking the prior all-time low of 7 percent that was set in 2000 during the dot-com boom.” “The white unemployment rate is 3.7 percent. The black-white gap in hiring and pay has existed for decades, with the black unemployment rate typically more than double that of whites. But the gap has narrowed slightly to 1.85 times higher unemployment for blacks instead of 2 times as much.
That bit of good news is a great way to begin 2018. While Democrats have tried mightily to paint Trump as a racist, the fact is that Democrats embraced Trump until he ran for president as a Republican. Then the inevitable happened. The Republican candidate had to be painted as a racist, true or not. Nonetheless, black workers benefit from the optimism felt in the business community – a rising tide lifts all boats.
There is no denying that the economy, in general, has taken off since Trump’s inauguration. Even though I was told the stock market would crash if there was a Trump victory, the opposite happened. Another record Dow Jones close ended the week above 25000.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped past 25000 for the first time Thursday, the index’s fastest run to a fresh 1,000-point milestone in history.
The S&P 500’s long-running rally also reached a new landmark Thursday, becoming the greatest bull market in the postwar era.
As Ed pointed out, the number of jobs created in December missed the predictions and the unemployment percentage remains unchanged. Does Trump deserve all the credit for the good economic news? He is certainly entitled to take credit as the guy in the Oval Office. He promised to create jobs and help all Americans, regardless of skin color, and he’s kept his promise.
Trump boasted that if he was elected, he would win 95% of the black vote in his re-election bid. That’s Trumpian boastfulness, to be sure, as no Republican will do that in my lifetime.
Trump was so confident that he could turn things around for the black community that he promised, if given a shot at a first term in office, he would win 95% of the black vote when seeking reelection. “The result for them will be amazing,” he told a North Carolina crowd during the presidential election. “What do you have to lose by trying something new?”
Trump won North Carolina on election night. He was right – what did black voters have to lose?