Gary Cohn, the National Economic Council director and top economic advisor to President Donald Trump, said that the White House was “excited” with the jobs report released Friday. The report showed that the US economy unexpectedly lost 33,000 jobs during September.
“We at the White House are very excited about the numbers,” Cohn said during an interview with Bloomberg TV. “You’re right, there is some noise in the number because of the hurricane and as you said you discount that noise out.”
The Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that much of the softness in the jobs number was due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which slammed into theGulf Coast in September.
Cohn said that the Trump administration was pumped about other, more promising, statistics in the report besides the headline jobs drop.
“You’re looking through the numbers and you’re looking at the wage growth and you’re looking at the unemployment number — which is the real good news here,” Cohn said.
Average hourly earnings grew 2.9% year-on-year in the month, tied for the highest rate since the recession, but still lower than the pre-recession average. The unemployment rate also dropped to 4.2%, the lowest since February 2001. These numbers may have also been impacted by the hurricanes. Acting BLS Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski said in a statement that the higher wage number “reflects both ongoing labour market trends and possible effects of the hurricanes.”
Cohn then said that to continue these positive trends in the labour market, it is necessary for the government to pass Trump’s massive tax reform package.
Watch Cohn’s comments below (they begin at the 30 minute mark):