A shocking new report from the Associated Press (AP) shows that areas in the United States that voted for President Donald Trump are losing jobs and areas that voted for Hillary Clinton are adding jobs.
New job growth statistics show that overall the country will add about 2.6 million jobs during 2018. But most of these new jobs will be added in Democratic strongholds rather than in the Republican areas that overwhelmingly voted for Trump and put him in the White House.
So far during Trump’s presidency nearly 60 percent of the job gains have been in counties that backed Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to the AP’s analysis of monthly government jobs data.
This report proves a shocking truth that Trump will not want publicized. The engines of job growth are in blue states, in urban areas, and where there is tremendous racial diversity along with a large number of immigrants.
Not only that, but the AP analysis reveals that many Trump counties are LOSING jobs. They found that 35.4 percent of Trump counties have LOST jobs over the past year. Just 19.2 percent of “blue” Clinton counties have lost jobs.
This new jobs data makes clear that the U.S. economy is doing great in some areas and horribly in other areas. This means that the economic landscape is as fractured as the political landscape.
More wealth is created in cities which are hubs of financial and corporate activity. And prosperity is going less and less over time to the smaller towns and cities in more rural areas of the country.
These rural areas and small towns voted for Donald Trump because they believed his wild claims about bringing back lost jobs. Many people there now realize this won’t happen, and this could have a major impact on the 2018 midterm elections.
Trump loves to brag about job creation for middle class and blue-collar workers, which he tells people is a great accomplishment of his presidency. And he is also always pointing to the national economy, apparently hoping that voters will reward him and other Republicans by keeping them in control of Congress after the elections.
But for Trump’s core supporters, cultural issues such as gun rights, immigration and loyalty to the president have become dominant, not economic issues.
One county Republican chairman said his party members are energized because of their fierce opposition to gun control.
“Our number one motivating factor is the Second Amendment,” he said.
So even though the national economy should be an advantage for Republicans in the midterms, the economy is not the most important issue for voters this year.
When the Pew Research Center asked likely voters in June to identify the country’s top issue, more chose immigration, race, political gridlock or Trump himself instead of the economy.
What all this means is that the “red” areas where Trump’s support is strongest will continue to be in economic decline, likely adding to those voters’ anxiety and resentment against diverse urban areas that are doing much better financially.
The more the country is divided economically, the more the country will remain divided politically. And since rural areas tend to keep less educated people while college educated voters move to urban areas, this political and economic divide could be like a tinderbox ready to burst into flames at the slightest provocation.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.