Trump Getting Carrier’d Away with Employment Numbers; Get Ready to Rumble with Trump’s Latest Pick; Unemployment Lows Give Economists a High

Adios…

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Just when you thought he’d Tweeted it all…It’s Trump vs. the union boss in the next installment of the President-elect’s Tweet-drama. This time Trump took on union boss Chuck Jones, who serves as president of United Steelworkers 1999 over at Carrier.  Trump tweeted that Jones has “done a terrible job representing workers.” That’s just one of the many pearls that escaped Trump’s social media account. “Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues,” was another gem he tweeted about his current dispute. Look for this exchange to come back and haunt him when it’s time for re-election. In any case, Jones said Trump was giving people false hope about the job situation at Carrier, and told the Washington Post, “…for whatever reason, he lied his a– off.” What Trump allegedly lied his a– off about was the 1,100 jobs he is taking credit for saving. He might have temporarily and theoretically – depending on whom you ask – sort of saved closer to 730 jobs and the problem with Trump’s math is that the 1,100 number might have included 300 jobs that weren’t even in danger of heading across the border. Come mid-2017 and another 600 Carrier jobs are gone as well, whether Trump is involved or not. And after all those lay-offs, Carrier will have a grand total of 800 manufacturing workers and another 300 engineers on its roster. Carrier was offered $7 million worth of tax incentives and credits to stay put. Jones said $23 million worth of concessions were offered up in order to entice Carrier not to head off to Mexico. But Carrier still stands to save $65 million by moving south and well…you see where this is headed. If Carrier decided to remain in the U.S., employees would have to agree to ditch benefits and earn $5 per hour below minimum wage.  Let’s see Trump fix that one.

Let’s get ready to rumble…

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In other Trump drama, the President-elect just picked WWE co-founder Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration. Which seems only fair considering she gave a whopping $6 million to a pro-Trump super PAC. Although, she did call Trump’s comments about women deplorable, so that’s something in her favor. The Senate still needs to approve the pick, but all signs point to her getting the gig. With offices in every state, the SBA helps small businesses and entrepreneurs get financing and training. McMahon, like Trump, supports a lower corporate tax rate and less government regulation. She founded WWE thirty years ago with her husband Vince McMahon. McMahon made two previous attempts to get into Washington DC when she ran for Senate seats twice in Connecticut. Both times she lost and the cost of the campaigns set her back about $100 million.  Not that it put much of a dent in her bank account. WWE is a publicly traded company with a market value of $1.5 billion. McMahon herself owns $84 million in company stock. And by the way, Trump is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.

Nothing to do with Trump…

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The number of Americans filing for unemployment fell from its five month high last week.    That should leave you feeling positively giddy as it signals a very healthy strong labor market. With this bit of news you can expect the Federal Reserve to hike those rates next week. The number of people who filed for first time benefits dropped by 10,000 to 258,000 applicants. It also marks the 92nd straight week that claims fell below 300,000  – a fiscally remarkable feat which hasn’t been seen since 1970. And again, that points to another good sign of a healthy labor market. In case you were curious about what economists were predicting – and it’s okay if you weren’t – the numbers were as expected. With the labor market seen as near full-employment, the government also released data showing that unemployment hit a four year low of 4.6% back in November. And bonus: the number of Americans who receive unemployment benefits fell a glorious 79,000 to 2.01 million.

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