Welcome to Jobs Day – POLITICO
With help from Ian Kullgren, Andrew Hanna and Daniel Lippman
WELCOME TO JOBS DAY: The Labor Department will release its monthly jobs numbers this morning. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted the creation of 190,000 jobs — down from June’s 213,000. They also expect an increase in over-the-year hourly earnings of 2.7 percent, and an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.
Story Continued Below
The July jobs report comes after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday ignored President Donald Trump’s recent criticism of interest rate hikes. “China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars [sic] gets stronger and stronger with each passing day – taking away our big competitive edge,” the president tweeted in July. “As usual, not a level playing field.” On Wednesday the Fed didn’t raise rates, but officials affirmed that they are still on track to do so twice more before the end of the year, which likely will incite more presidential agita.
A widespread assumption among economists is that economic growth will soon cool, if it isn’t doing so already. Expect a “darker” turn, warned Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. The past year’s brisk job growth is “very unusual and probably not sustainable,” Zandi said. “Enjoy it while you can.”
Related read: “5 things to watch in the July jobs report,” from the Wall Street Journal
GOOD MORNING! It’s Friday, August 3, and this is Morning Shift, POLITICO’s daily tipsheet on employment and immigration policy. Send tips, exclusives, and suggestions to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] Follow us on Twitter at @tedhesson, @IanKullgren, @AndrewBHanna and @TimothyNoah1.
BON VOYAGE, ANDREW: This is the last day for Andrew Hanna, our esteemed Morning Shift colleague, who is leaving POLITICO to study foreign affairs at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Drop him a line and wish him well!
RUBIO’S PAID LEAVE ISLAND: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was the only senator to sign onto his paid family leave bill when he introduced it Thursday, after he’d worked on it for weeks with Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Ernst and Lee said in identical written statements to POLITICO that they couldn’t agree on the details by the time Rubio wanted to introduce the bill. Both promised to keep working on it.
“The fundamental idea of giving working parents the flexibility they need to make Social Security work for them so they can take time off to care for a new baby, is worth exploring.” Ernst and Lee said. “Senator Rubio and I just have some disagreements about the scope of that flexibility.” Rubio said at a press conference Thursday that he “got impatient” and wanted to move ahead with the legislation. He said the other offices agreed with the framework, but needed time to work through “some of the details.”
Rubio’s bill, which would allow people to borrow from Social Security when they have a child, includes a three-year sunset. Making the program temporary will yield a favorable score from the Congressional Budget Office, a Rubio aide told reporters Thursday, demonstrating to Republicans that Social Security wouldn’t be harmed long term. Rubio is also working with Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) on a House version. Read a fact-sheet here and the full text here.
PUSH TO CUT REFUGEES: Trump argued last year that the U.S. should admit only 5,000 refugees — “a cut far more drastic than even his most hawkish adviser, Stephen Miller, proposed at the time,” POLITICO’s Nancy Cook, Nahal Toosi and Ted Hesson report.
The administration settled on a higher number — 45,000. But that was still the lowest ceiling since the inception of the resettlement program in 1980. Now the cap is under consideration again, with the start of the fiscal year around the corner. “One Republican close to the White House and a former White House official familiar with the discussions predicted the cap could fall as low as 15,000 in 2019, continuing a contraction of overall immigration, both legal and illegal,” Cook, Toosi and Hesson report.
The possible cut to refugee resettlement suggests the administration hasn’t backed away from its immigration crackdown, even after months of criticism over family separations at the border. More here.
TRUMP PUSHES WORK REQUIREMENTS: Trump pressed the Senate on Thursday to include food stamp work requirements in an $867 billion farm bill, POLITICO’s Helena Bottemiller Evich reports. “When the House and Senate meet on the very important Farm Bill – we love our farmers – hopefully they will be able to leave the WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD STAMPS PROVISION that the House approved,” Trump tweeted.
The House version of the legislation would impose new work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). “The House very narrowly passed a bill that would impose stricter work requirements on about 5 million to 7 million able-bodied adults in June,” Bottemiller Evich reports. “But Senate, which passed its own bill last month, has been clear that such changes to SNAP, still commonly known to many as food stamps, are not politically feasible.” The two sides embarked this week on the process of conferencing the bills. More here.
FORMER OFFICIAL FORGOES DHS GEAR: A former senior DHS official told POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman that he no longer wears clothing with the department logo in the aftermath of the Trump administration’s family separation fiasco. “I used to wear a DHS shirt and a DHS jacket on a regular basis, flying on an airplane for example or just around town, and I just don’t feel like I can do that anymore without taking flack,” the former official said. “It’s a sad state of affairs.” Top administration officials have been subjected to public protest in recent months over family separations, including Stephen Miller (after ordering $80 of takeout sushi) and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (while eating Mexican food).
NO TRUMP BUMP FOR BARLETTA: Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) shares Trump’s hardline immigration views and boasts the president’s endorsement. But that’s hasn’t amounted to much yet in his Senate campaign, Trip Gabriel reports in the New York Times. Barletta trails incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) by 16 percent, according to a RealClearPolitics polling average.