President Donald Trump speaks to the press during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump speaks to the press during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Wednesday. - 
Listen To The Story

Since President Donald Trump took office, the unemployment rate has slowly edged down to 4.1 percent in October.

In the nine months beginning in February, the economy has added 163,000 jobs per month on average. In the three years before Trump took office, job growth was higher (250,000 per month in 2014, 226,000 per month in 2015 and 187,000 per month in 2016).

“That’s what we’d expect at this stage of the recovery,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, “with now seven years of job growth” since the recession ended. (Indeed is an underwriter for Marketplace).

The Labor Department’s monthly employment reports have been volatile this fall, with hurricanes causing job creation to plummet to 18,000 in September and then rebound to 261,000 in October.

But with economic growth steady and unemployment low, it becomes harder for employers to fill jobs and draw workers in from the sidelines to join the labor force. Nonetheless, said Kolko, “The job growth that we’ve seen this year is still impressive, and it’s much faster than what we need to keep up with the relatively low rate of population growth.”

Economist Andrew Chamberlain at job site Glassdoor said business confidence has risen since Trump’s election, with expectations of tax cuts and deregulation.

“However, in terms of that translating into real economic activity — job gains, big wage growth — it’s very hard to see it in the numbers so far,” Chamberlain said.

Average hourly wages were rising at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in February. In October, the annual rate of growth had fallen to 2.4 percent.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Mitchell Hartman at @entrepreneurguy