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This week in Trumponomics

On Friday, the August Jobs Report was released, revealing that 1.4 millions jobs returned and that unemployment dropped to 8.4%. Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman joins The Final Round to discuss how the return of jobs is slowing down, which could have an impact of Trump’s reelect, as well as give this week’s Trumpometer reading.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: The BLS reporting 1.37 million jobs were added back to the economy. Private sector employment rose by 1.03 million jobs last month. The unemployment rate falling to 8.4% from 10.2%. Joining us now to discuss that and to give us a very special one hour early weekly Trumponomics update is Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman. So Rick, let's start, you know, every month, you come on on Friday with the Trumponomics report instead of Thursday for the jobs report. How does this one change your calculus in thinking about the Trump economy with just eight weeks to go to the election?

RICK NEWMAN: I think it's unambiguous good news for Trump. 1.4 million jobs, that was about of what economists were expecting, perhaps a little better than some expected. I mean, we know about the softness in this report. About 300,000 of those jobs were census workers. Those are temporary jobs that are going to disappear. And we've also seen a decelerating pace of job creation, but it's also true that we've now regained about half the jobs that were lost in that, you know, that huge hole we dug in March and April when we lost something like 22 million jobs. We've now got back about 11 million of them, and a number of economists have been saying they're surprised at how quickly some of these jobs have been coming back, including Jason Furman, the Harvard Economist who was President Obama's top Economic Advisor for a couple of years back then.

So this might surprise you, Myles, but this is going to be the first mediocre on the Trump-o-meter since we all went home to start dealing with the pandemic. First mediocre since March. Mediocre may not sound like a great grade, but it's the third highest on the Trump-o-meter. I think there could be headwinds in September and October, but I think, you know, for now, this is a good week for President Trump on jobs.

DAN ROBERTS: And guys and Rick, I'd be curious your take on this too, nonpolitical here, non-Trump related, but you know, it was good news. There was a lot of good news in this report, a lot of things to like, but I did notice something that we have been discussing over the last few months as a possibility, indeed, cropped up, and that was permanent layoffs rising. Now, new jobs or people returning to work outpaced it, but boy, we had discussed the idea that a lot of people who had been furloughed, and unfortunately might have been hoping to hear back soon, OK, you know, come back to work, were in fact told that they've been permanently cut. And that was a concern a lot of people had.

I mean, when we saw the July numbers, we had experts coming through saying, yes, further evidence that everything bottomed and troughed in May and that we're up, up, up now. But that's something that I think we should still keep an eye on in the next couple of months is people who were temporarily furloughed finding out, OK, unfortunately, we cannot bring you back.

RICK NEWMAN: Yes, spot on, Dan. There's a lot of pain in the economy still, and we're not out of the hole by any means. So I think you're right about that, and I think another thing that's likely to happen, I mean, we've seen a lot of analysis today saying,

OK, so we've gotten through the easy jobs, the ones that are easy to add back. You know, employers have hired back some workers to meet what is now diminished demand, but from now on, they may not be hiring anyone else, because demand just isn't there for now. So we need to see demand come back, we need to see, you know, a coronavirus vaccine and those things to get out of the hole. I would also point out that if people are feeling better about the economy, I don't know if they are, you know, people don't necessarily internalize, you know, data out of Washington.

But if they're feeling better, they're not crediting President Trump or at least it's not showing up in any of the polls. Joe Biden, the democrat, he still leads Trump by about seven points nationally. That's just about where the race stood before the two conventions at the end of August, and Trump obviously needs a lot of really good news to get people feeling better like we're really getting to the other side of this before the election, which I'm happy to say is now in less than two months.

MYLES UDLAND: Ballots have been cast as of today. We saw mail-in ballots go out in several states, so Rick, I know that the entire time we've worked together here at Yahoo Finance, it's felt like the 2020 election cycle, with the exception of the first couple of weeks when it was actually the 2016 cycle. So now it is actually here, my friend, in the next eight weeks.


MYLES UDLAND: It's really happening, and I know, Rick, no one is as thrilled about that as you are. All right, Rick Newman with the weekly Trumponomics report card. Mediocre this week. Best reading for President Trump since the recession began. And Rick, we'll talk to you next week. Have a great weekend.

RICK NEWMAN: Bye, guys.