Trump country's precarious gains
Trump country is winning again, "at least for now," according to a new Brookings Institution report that shows counties that voted for Donald Trump are adding jobs at a faster rate than Clinton counties.
The big picture: "The 490 counties that voted for Clinton continue to massively predominate in the sheer volume and productivity of their economic activity. Together they accounted for two-thirds of the nation’s employment growth and three-quarters of its GDP growth.
- "But during the first 21 months of the Trump administration, as people and jobs once again begin to spread out and sprawl, job growth rates in the 2,622 Trump-voting counties have gone from lagging behind those in Clinton counties to outpacing them."
The other side: "That growth hasn’t translated into pay gains," Bloomberg notes.
- "After inflation, average weekly earnings in Trump country fell at a 0.3 percent annual rate, down from 0.6 percent growth in Obama’s final years."
- "Workers in Democratic-leaning areas did better, with pay rising at a 0.1 percent rate, down from 0.9 percent annual gains during Obama’s last two years. Still, national data point to stronger wage gains under Trump beyond 2018."
The bottom line: Rural, red America's big picture issues — population loss, brain drain and economic reliance on commodities — are still here, waiting for the next recession to poke back up.
- The Trump trade war threatens agriculture, rural areas and related sectors. [Map]
- A downturn or recession would hammer sectors such as construction and fossil fuel extraction.
- Robots are coming for the jobs thriving in Trump country. [Chart]
- The Great Recession's uneven recovery
- 11 million U.S. workers are in the trade war's crosshairs
- Automation is set to hit the heartland the hardest — again
- America’s surprise economic powerhouse: North Dakota
- The economy is booming, but Americans still aren't moving
- Why rural counties are dying in America