BET founder Robert Johnson told CNBC Friday that he believes the Trump economy has helped the African American community. Johnson, who was America’s first black billionaire, appeared on “Squawk Box” to discuss the direction of the economy following the most recent jobs report.
In spite of a slightly lower-than-expected number (103,000 new jobs vs the expected 193,000), Johnson was optimistic, citing a January report that touted the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for African Americans. “When you look at that [January report], you have to say something is going right. You have to take encouragement from what’s happening in the labor force and the job market,” Johnson said. “When you look at African-American unemployment, … you’ve never had African-American unemployment this low and the spread between African-Americans and whites narrowing.”
Johnson even took a playful jab at the newly-appointed National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, who was his classmate at Princeton University, claiming that Kudlow’s predictions for the country’s economic growth might be a little too optimistic. “The economy’s going to grow. It’s not going to do 5, as I think Larry Kudlow suggested it could do 5. Larry and I went through Princeton, the Woodrow Wilson School together, I was smarter than he was … I’m glad he’s at the NEC, I’m gonna call him and tell him ‘welcome to DC’.”
But Johnson’s overall assessment was that, economically speaking, things are still likely to get better. Praising the Trump tax cuts, recent job growth, and relatively stable interest rates, he concluded, “I believe the economy is on a strong growth path.”