Another long-term challenge exists in Manufacturing jobs, a key economic number that Trump promised to revive to levels not seen in decades. There’s been some positive movement, the jobs in manufacturing are up by about 500,000 since 2016 to about 12.8 million positions. But that number is far below the millions of new manufacturing jobs that the president to create and analyses show the sector is now contracting.

Friday brought some good economic news for President Donald Trump, 136,000 new jobs and a new low in unemployment at 3.5 percent in September. Those are numbers he can point to in his reelection campaign.

But two-plus years into Trump’s presidency, there’s also a set of numbers that indicate some long-standing, problematic trends remain. And as the 2020 campaign begins those data points serve as a reminder that deeper economic change, the kind he promised in 2016, is hard to deliver.

Start with the overall state of the economy and who’s winning and losing in it. Yes, incomes are up and unemployment is down, but Census data released in September show income inequality not only persists, but it is also growing – even through the good economic times.

But the truth about that figure is it has been growing fairly steadily since the 1960s. The drift upward is simply not an easy trend to turn around. Changes in the job market and the structure of the U.S. economy in that time have led to a loss of middle-income jobs that propped up the middle class.