The way I figure it, the first Friday in April is going to be a doozy.
That is when the U.S. Department of Labor is scheduled to release its non-farm jobs report for March, which happens to be the first full month of the coronavirus pandemic that has sent jolting shockwaves throughout the nation’s economy.
The March figures likely won’t be nearly as rosy as the monthly reports have been for he past, oh, decade or so.
We’ve been adding millions of jobs annually since around 2010. Donald Trump, of course, pooh-poohed the Labor Department numbers prior to the time he became president. He called them “cooked up” figures; he said there was no way we were adding to payrolls so dramatically during the Obama administration.
It all changed when he took office in January 2017. Then the numbers became like The Gospels to him.
What will might happen on April 3 when the Labor Department releases its next set of numbers? They might reveal a net loss of jobs in March. Why? The reason is obvious: Businesses have been forced to shutter themselves as states, counties and cities issue directives limiting crowd sizes. The federal government response to date has been spotty … and that’s the kindest description I can use.
How might the president react to crappy jobs numbers in March? I am guessing he’s going to find a way to blame it all on President Obama. Or on China. Or on the Deep State. Or perhaps on Martians who landed on Earth and kidnapped employees and flew them into outer space.
I am guessing, too, that Donald Trump will go ballistic. He’ll suffer a form of apoplexy not seen since, oh, when he learned that his inaugural crowd was nowhere near the size of the one that cheered the inauguration of Barack Obama.
These are troubling times. We in for more pain before it gets better. As for the president, he’ll have to deal with the bad news that is sure to arrive.