Any unemployment rate under 5 percent is about as much as you can ask for, but President Trump isn't satisfied with today's 4.3 percent unemployment rate. He still wants the economy to add even more jobs.
"Unemployment is at a 16-year low," Trump said at a rally Thursday night in West Virginia. "But don't forget, and I will never forget, the millions and millions of people out there who don't register on the unemployment rolls because they gave up looking for jobs. So I accept the number, but honestly, we all know, there are millions of people out there that we all love, the forgotten men and women, and they're looking for jobs."
That's a smart attitude to take.
No matter how good the economy is, there will always be some unemployment, or someone who doesn't think the economy isn't good enough for them. So even if Trump (or any other politician) wants to brag about their record on job growth, it's pretty much always smart to say they're going to create even more jobs.
While the official unemployment rate is 4.3 percent, the U-6 unemployment rate, which includes "all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons" is 8.6 percent. That's probably a more accurate picture of the unemployment situation, but also a very good number that it's tough to beat.
Then there's labor force participation. About 81.8 percent of the population aged 25 to 54 are considered to be in the labor force. Happily, that number is slowly on the rise again, but it's still lower than it ever was throughout the 1990s. And that's who Trump is thinking of when he says, "I will never forget, the millions and millions of people out there who don't register on the unemployment rolls because they gave up looking for jobs."
Jason Russell is the contributors editor for the Washington Examiner.