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June 1 2018

Terrific Jobs Report: Headline Writers Blindsided

by Charlotte Hays

Dow Up 200 as Stock Market Posts Solid Gains after Stronger-than-Expected Jobs Report.

That is a headline on a Market Watch story this morning. Here is what caught my eye: stronger-than-expected.

In the Obama years jobs reports were always "unexpectedly" lower than predicted.

Journalists and the headline writers among them always expected President Obama's policies to work better so they were eternally expecting better jobs reports. "Unexpectedly lower" became a meme of jobs report reporting in the Obama years.

I doubt if they have lost faith in the regulations that Obama imposed on coal and other industries that liberals don't like. Having faith in these failed policies, the strong economy nourished by other policies always surprises them. Stronger-than-expected will probably be the meme of the Trump years, if things continue to do well. Here is the news that took our headline writers by surprise:

The U.S. labor market remains strong with 223,000 new jobs created in May, which pushed the unemployment rate down to an 18-year low of 3.8%. Wage growth was modest, with the yearly rate of pay rising to 2.7% from 2.6%.

The Dow is unpredictable and I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't slip because of news regarding tariffs. It is down slightly from 200 as I write this and anything an happen.

But what's the big news for members of our elite media about this jobs report?

Why that President Trump may have broken protocol by commenting before the numbers were officially released.

Trump tweeted at 7:21 am and the report was released at 8:30 am. As far as I can tell, this is all the president tweeted:

“Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning.”

But don't worry, Market Watch has thoroughly investigated:

The rule Trump may have violated is set out by the Office of Management and Budget, in the heretofore dry, Statistical Policy Directive No. 3.

The chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers — Kevin Hassett, currently — and the president are allowed to get briefed on the jobs report. However, “agencies must ensure that adequate steps (e.g., sequestering those granted access) are taken to prevent prerelease disclosure or use. So long as there is no risk of prerelease disclosure or use, prerelease access is permitted.”

Here’s what they are required to do: “Except for members of the staff of the agency issuing the principal economic indicator who have been designated by the agency head to provide technical explanations of the data, employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time.”

Two areas of wiggle room seem to emerge — one, whether Trump is covered as an “employee of the executive branch,” and two, whether the tweet without numbers can be construed as a “comment.”

Of course, the president should have observed protocol, but, really, isn't the story the jobs report?

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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