Monday Moneybeat

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, June 4th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

Alright, well, listen, the unemployment rate is so low, Mary…

REICHARD: How low is it?

EICHER: It’s so low, that the last time it was lower than this, Diana Ross was together with the Supremes. And Motown was still Motown, because Detroit’s car industry was still dominant.

And this Supremes’ hit became the No. 1 song, December 1969.

That’s how far you have to go back to find a better time for jobs than today.

In May,  unemployment fell to 3.8 percent.

MUSIC: Someday, we’ll be together … (Yes, we will, yes we will)

The White House is singing a happy tune after employers added 233,000 new jobs in the month of May. That’s a big improvement over a very good April, when the economy added 159,000 jobs.

Macroeconomic Advisers is a big forecasting firm, and its economists are predicting the current quarter economic growth is going to hit a 4.1 percent annual pace. That’s the magic number President Trump has been promising that would be the result of his tax and regulation relief package.

One additional note on this jobs report last week from the Labor Department: Joblessness among African Americans hit a new low in May. It stands at 5.9 percent. It’s never been that low before.

REICHARD: Critics of the president did find a flaw: Before the actual release of the jobs report, President Trump tweeted that he was, quote, “looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning” end quote.

The tweet showed up at 7:21 that morning, and within seconds, the value of Treasury notes and the value of the U.S. dollar jumped.

Critics said the Trump tweet was inappropriate because the markets need predictable, official releases of macroeconomic data, not haphazard ones. The Washington Post carried a headline: Trump breaks with decades of protocol with tweet before release of jobs report.

The White House press pounced on the president’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow. Listen to this exchange:

AUDIO: “He didn’t give any numbers. And, by the way, I just want to make this point: These numbers come out the night before, and I make a call whether to let him know or not. And it just so happens, last evening, I let him know.”

“Doesn’t this go against the 1985 OMB directive …”


“… which says essentially says no one should reveal what the findings are the night before, or before they’re released officially?”

“Right. And we didn’t.”

“Why is there such secrecy …”

“No, wait, can I just — this is very important. No one revealed the numbers to the public”


“Could I just, I just want to inject this, ah, radical notion: The jobs report was really good. The economy is doing really well. And Kudlow and Hassett are doing their jobs.”

REICHARD: Hassett, by the way, is Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

EICHER: The jobs report did spark a rally Friday on Wall Street, when trading opened. The Dow soared 219 points by the end of the day. It wasn’t quite enough to overcome losses earlier in the week and the index finished half-a-percent down on the week. All the other indexes had winning weeks. The Nasdaq up 1.6 percent. The S&P500 up half a percent. The Russell 2000 up 1.3 percent.

And that’s today’s Monday Moneybeat.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew) A screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the Dow Jones industrial average above 25,000 in early trading Monday, May 21, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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