President Donald Trump was briefed Thursday night about the monthly employment report issued Friday morning in Washington and signaled in advance that the numbers were going to be favorable, breaking with past practice of presidents who avoided disclosure of market-sensitive information.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced at 8.30am that the U.S. had added 223,000 new jobs in May as the unemployment rate slid t0 3.8%, its lowest level since April 2000 and one of the lowest levels since after the second world war.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump tells Trudeau on NAFTA: US will agree to fair deal or "no deal at all" Dem senator suggests Trump "sending a message to witnesses" with pardons Kim Jong Un hasn't changed his stance on denuclearization: report MORE on Friday touted the monthly federal jobs report roughly an hour before the data was released, appearing to violate a government rule. After Trump's tweet, the two-year Treasury yield climbed one basis point, while the dollar stayed flat.
The president in August 2017 touted the July report on Twitter roughly 15 minutes after the data had been publicized.
In an interview with CNBC, Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said he briefed President Trump personally on the jobs report Thursday evening after receiving the report from chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett.
Jason Furman tweeted "You should have gotten the employment numbers from the Council of Economic Advisers yesterday".
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Austan Goolsbee, another former CEA chair under Obama, tweeted "If the president just tipped that the numbers are good, he broke the law". Unemployment has steadily improved, economic growth has ticked up slightly, and wage growth has been slight.
So far this year the USA has now added 207,000 new jobs a month, continuing a record nine-year streak of job creation.
But the report highlighted once again that many Americans remain on the sidelines despite the tightening labor market.
The unemployment rate fell further to 3.8%, having fallen to 3.9% the previous month, bringing the rate to an 18-year low.
That fall in participation was partly responsible for the latest dip in the unemployment rate, said the Economic Policy institute.