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The US actually created fewer jobs in 2018 and 2019 than we thought



American employers created 500,000 fewer jobs than initially estimated from January 2018 through March 2019, according to new data from the Labor Department released on Wednesday.

While the revisions don’t alter the portrait of a healthy job market, they undercut the Trump administration’s claims that the 2017 tax cuts and increased federal spending provided the economy with a jolt that spurred more hiring. It also indicates the economic growth has not been as robust as expected. Final employment data will be published in February 2020.

Last year, the hiring likely averaged around 180,000 jobs per month, down from the 223,000 jobs initially estimated, though better than the 2017’s average of 179,000 jobs per month.

Read more: US employers added 164,000 jobs in July as the labor force hit a record high

The revisions cast a darker cloud over consumer industries. Retailers shed around 150,000 more jobs than initially thought. But the outlook was better for other industries like transportation and warehousing, which saw a bump of 80,000 more jobs.

“The pace of job growth in 2018 was a significant upside surprise,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist of Amherst Pierpont Securities, told The New York Times. “The revision kind of brings things back into line with what the original thought process had been.”

In the past week, fears of a recession has escalated over the Trump administration’s ongoing trade war with China. And the administration’s message has veered wildly in recent days between projecting faith in the economy’s strength to weighing measures such as a payroll tax cut to salvage confidence in its future.

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