Republicans say Trump won because of the “economic anxiety.” Republicans say the Democrats ignored the white working class in rust-belt America. Republicans say the Democrats ignored manufacturing jobs and shipped them overseas thanks to trade deals.
Only the facts are just the opposite.
As President Obama prepares to leave office, the U.S. manufacturing job opening has hit a nine year high, tripling from 99,000 in 2009 to 322,000 in October of this year.
In April, as the primaries were underway, the rate hit over 400,000.
However, even though openings reached 322,000, only 271,000 openings were filled. While a recovering economy (in which all households have been benefiting) is helping to fuel these job booms, a gap in job skills and a passive recruitment process is causing not every position to be filled.
Jobs in manufacturing are paying more employees more money. Back in 2008, half of U.S. manufacturing firms paid employees $25 or less. Now, eight years later, only 30 percent of firms are paying less than $25.
At the same time, unskilled workers are missing out on better opportunities while skilled positions aren’t being filled, stifling a resurgence of manufacturing in the rust belt.
So while there are still plateaus the industry must overcome, the “economic anxiety” felt by the Midwest that supposedly fueled Trump’s rise to the presidency has been based on a lie prorogated by conservative outlets like Fox and Trump himself (and a little by the far left).
While Democrats have been delivering to the rustbelt and fighting for the coal miners of West Virginia, Republicans have drummed up fear, lies and distrust to rise to power.
Once again, President Obama has cleaned up the Republican Party’s mess – and just like with George W. Bush, an incoming Republican is going to wreck the Democrat’s progress.
Let’s hope the rustbelt doesn’t suffer too badly from Trump.
Featured image via Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer