A Positive Economic Picture

CNS News is reporting today that the economy is doing better than predicted.

The article reports:

A record 157,005,000 people were employed in June, the most since February and the 19th record of Trump’s presidency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

And the economy added a strong 224,000 jobs in June, well above the estimate of 160,000.

The unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 years, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.7 percent.

In June, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 259,037,000. Of those, 162,981,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,981,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 259,037,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. That’s up a tenth of a point from May’s 62.8 percent participation rate. The payroll taxes paid by people who participate in the labor force help support those who do not participate, so the higher this number, the better.

The participation rate reached a record high of 67.3 percent in early 2000; the highest it’s been under Trump is 63.2 percent.

In December 2016, the labor force participation rate was 62.7. It has moved between 62.7 and 63.1 since President Trump took office.

I love the fact that during a Republican administration, the estimates of jobs created is always low and economists are always surprised when the real numbers come out.

The article concludes:

And wages continue rising: In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.90, following a 9-cent gain in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a June 25 speech, said the economy has performed “reasonably well” so far this year, with continued growth and strong job creation keeping the unemployment rate near historic lows.

But Powell also mentioned “some ongoing cross-currents,” including trade uncertainty and incoming data about the strength of the global economy.

He said the Fed “will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion…” That could mean lower interest rates — or not, if the employment and job numbers remain strong.

Economic policies impact the economy. It matters who is occupying the White House. President Trump has proved that.

How Is The Trump Economy Doing?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s economic policies on the economy during the past two years.

The article reports:

President Trump has had a tumultuous two years in office, but as he starts to ramp up his reelection campaign, he can boast of having presided over the lowest recorded average unemployment rate of any of his predecessors at this point in their presidencies.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate had held steady at 3.8%. That brings the average unemployment rate for the first 26 months of Trump’s presidency, from February 2017 through March 2019, to 4.1%.

Starting with the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, there has never been a president who oversaw such a robust employment market at this point in his presidency. This is demonstrated in the chart below. The official BLS unemployment data go back to 1948, and thus is not available for the comparable period in the Harry S. Truman era or earlier.

Since the economy is a strong player in presidential elections, these numbers are important.

The article concludes:

The strong economic performance will also be a test of a lot of models predicting the outcome of elections. Many analysts rely heavily on the state of the economy when predicting whether an incumbent will get reelected. However, typically, when the economy is strong, it is also associated with a solid presidential approval rating. Yet Trump has polled consistently lower than other presidents, despite the strong economy.

For instance, take Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, whose unemployment rates came closest to Trump, at 4.4% and 4.5%, respectively. At the comparable points in their presidencies, according to Gallup, Eisenhower was polling at 71 percent and Nixon, while less popular, was still at 50%. In contrast, Trump is currently polling at 39%.

That’s why predicting the 2020 election is so perilous, especially with the Democratic nomination battle so wide open. It’s easy to come up with a scenario in which Trump loses reelection despite having the strongest presidential term for employment in recorded history, because he turns off voters in many other ways. On the other hand, it’s also possible to imagine an outcome in which the strength of the economy convinces voters to get past their objections with Trump and stay the course rather than risk radical change being promised by Democrats.

The strong economy may be the reason the Democrats are trying to get so much mileage out of the Mueller Report. It may be their only hope.

This Could Make The Next Two Years Very Interesting

Don Surber posted an article today that included some rather surprising information.

The article reports:

Brad Parscale, Donald John Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, told Jesse Watters last night that 34% of the people who attended the president’s rally in Grand Rapids were registered Democrats.

Parscale knows that because people needed to give the campaign their cellphone numbers to get tickets. The campaign then used the information to check their voting record.

…Parscale called the Green New Deal a big juicy steak for the campaign.

Axios limited its report on the interview to Parscale saying, “[Trump] has been very easy to work with this week. He’s been very smiley.

“I was in the White House this week; he served me hors d’oeuvres. That was a first. … [A] little pigs in a blanket, some meatballs. …He gave me a Diet Coke; he was very happy. It was my first [time] in nine years serving, of hors d’oeuvres from the president. Which is safe to say, very good mood.”

Axios was the only outlet (besides Fox News) that I could find with a report on the interview.

Gee, I wonder how the experts missed that last election?

It’s difficult to ignore the economic success of the Trump administration. I suspect those in the deep state will attempt to undermine that success during the next year or so, but there are some fundamental changes in regulations that will make that difficult. The unemployment rate and the workforce participation rate speak for themselves. Salaries at the lower end of the wage scale are going up. People are keeping more of what they earn. The mainstream media is not telling us all of the good news, but people are experiencing better economic times and discounting the media. This President has dealt with an unprecedented assault on our southern border and is beginning to deal with the problem in spite of Congress–not with the help of Congress. The President has also dealt with an unprecedented attack on him personally and on his family. It is time to stop harassing the President and let him lead. The attendance at his rallies are an indication that the public is not listening to the mainstream media–they are doing their own research and drawing their own conclusions.

Even The Good News Is Clouded With Doom When The Media Reports It

Market Watch posted an article yesterday about the January trade deficit in America. The article notes that the deficit shrank to $51.1 billion in January from almost $60 billion in December. That is really good news. However, the media doesn’t seem to want good economic news.

The article notes:

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a $57.7 billion deficit.

Notice that they were more than a little off.

The article continues:

The lower U.S. trade deficit, if it persists, could provide a small boost in the first quarter to gross domestic product, the official scorecard of the economy. But the drop in imports could also be taken as sign of softening demand in the U.S. that adds to worries about a slower growth.

Whatever the case, the U.S. is coming off the highest annual deficit in a decade and it’s unlikely the gap will shrink much if at all in 2019.

The President is renegotiating trade deals. This is not an ‘instant’ process. His negotiating skills and business acumen are responsible for the growing economy–the unemployment rate is down and the workforce participation rate is up. Can someone in the media please give President Trump a little credit and show a little optimism.

Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

The biggest advantage the Republicans will have in 2020 is a strong economy. Because the Democrats know this, they are trying very hard to downplay the economic recovery that is currently taking place. They have invented some interesting facts in their attempt to do this. However, the alternative media has learned to fact check these attempts to downplay President Trump’s economic success.

Townhall posted an article today that includes some recent fact checking.

The article reports on some recent statement by Kamala Harris:

First, I’m not sure many economists or Republicans cite the stock market as the top indicator of economic health, despite her initial straw man claim. There are many other metrics that are more indicative and more helpful to building that argument, which we’ll mention in a moment.  But it’s also worth pointing out that a robust stock market is not merely good news for people who own stocks, as Harris sarcastically says.  Plenty of workers’ benefit and retirement funds, including those of many public sector employees, are tied into the performance of the stock market — so it’s not just investors who benefit when markets are humming along, and it’s not just investors who feel pain when markets sustain hits. 

Second, in her attempt to downplay the impressive, stable and low US unemployment rate, Harris recycles a claim for which AOC was slapped down by fact-checkers a few months ago.  Even left-leaning Politifact assigned her a “pants on fire” rating.  Harris’ spin is less explicitly clumsy and wrong than AOC’s, as she didn’t specifically state that the low rate is directly attributable to people working more than one job, which makes absolutely no sense — but she does use this argument to undercut the (compelling) argument that the economy is in good shape because so many Americans are employed.  While it’s certainly true that a substantial number of people are working multiple jobs in order to make ends meet, it’s not accurate to pretend that this phenomenon is sufficiently widespread as to justify Harris’ talking point.

The article further reports:

The February jobs report found that just five percent of the employed population is working more than one job, down from 5.2 percent one year ago.  The experiences of the people who constitute that five percent matter, of course, but they are not evidence of a larger trend — and certainly not a trend that represents a real basis to shrug off the historically-low unemployment rate.  The jobs report that came out on Friday was a major ‘miss’ on a key number, with the US economy adding only 20,000 jobs last month; economists were expecting 180,000.  That’s a potentially concerning data point, underscoring the folly of simply assuming that the current prosperity streak will continue unabated.  But there were positive statistics, too.  The previous two months’ job creation data was revised upward by 12,000, and the overall unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent.  That marks 12 consecutive months, a full year, with the U3 figure at or below four percent, which is unambiguously good.

The article concludes:

Sustainability is a fair worry for the White House, but as of this moment, the most useful measuring sticks of the US economy are unemployment (3.8 percent), GDP growth (3.1 percent Q4 to Q4), and wage growth (3.4 percent).  All three are impressive.  Harris’ snarky point, therefore, is weak.  

As wages and jobs increase, voters will have to decide whether to believe what they are experiencing or what they are being told.

The Power Of The Media Illustrated

This is the current polling from RealClearPolitics:

This is some recent economic news reported by The Washington Times on January 9:

Given the dazzling December economic data, it’s no wonder the press gave it short shrift. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added a whopping 312,000 jobs, far more than the expected 176,000. After revisions, job gains have averaged an impressive 254,000 per month over the past three months. Job growth in 2018 (an average of 220,000 per month) passed that of both 2016 (195,000) and 2017 (182,000). Payrolls increased by 2.6 million in 2018, the highest since 2015.

The sunny jobs picture encouraged 419,000 new workers to enter the workforce and sent the labor force participation rate up to 63.1 percent. Unemployment rates among blacks, Latinos and women are at or near historic lows.

Job growth has also meant significant wage growth. Wages are up a stunning 3.2 percent from last year and .4 percent from November. December was the third straight month that the yearlong growth in nominal average hourly earnings was above 3 percent in nearly a decade; the last time we saw that trend was April 2009. Wages are also being given an assist by inflation being kept in check.

The article at The Washington Times concludes:

His (President Trump’s) astounding economic track record is their worst nightmare. It puts the lie to the nonsense Mr. Obama, the Democrats and the media have been shoveling for years: That anemic economic growth, high unemployment, the collapse of manufacturing and grotesque trade imbalances were the “new normal.”

It also pointedly demonstrates that the statist vision — radical wealth redistribution, socialized medicine, green energy chimeras, social justice enforcement, limits on free speech, private property and gun ownership, and the rule of the leftist mob — creates only tyranny, poverty, injustice and servitude. (Note the deflection: These are things the left claims to want to eradicate.)

Mr. Trump and his economic thunderbolt are exposing the left and its policies as irredeemably bankrupt, economically and morally. And that is perhaps the biggest reason why they must try to destroy him.

A lot of this economic news has not been reported. However, people do notice when there are more jobs available and there is more money in their paycheck. President Trump’s approval numbers are finally in positive numbers. The economy is booming. What would be the basis for most Americans believing America is headed in the wrong direction? Might it be the constant negative reporting from the media? Can you imaging what President Trump’s approval rating would be if the media were actually balanced? Just remember–the people vote. The media represents only a small percentage of votes.

Let’s Talk About The Rebuttal

It’s not easy to give the rebuttal speech to the State of the Union. Chances are that you don’t have a copy of what you are rebutting. I guess you can make changes at the last minute, but the majority of your speech has to be written before you have a clue what it is supposed to be about. It’s not a great place to be. That said, however, I would like to take issue with some of the comments made by Stacey Abrams last night. Much of what she said was only half of the truth, and some of what she said was simply not true.

Time posted a transcript of her speech. I would like to talk about sections of that speech.

Ms. Abrams stated:

Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks. Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace. The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people – but our values.

It was nice of her to give out meals, but she failed to mention that all of those furloughed workers received every penny of their back pay. The simply got an extra paid vacation.

She further stated:

In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security. But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it. Under the current administration, far too many hard-working Americans are falling behind, living paycheck to paycheck, most without labor unions to protect them from even worse harm.

The Republican tax bill rigged the system against working people. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living.

We owe more to the millions of everyday folks who keep our economy running: like truck drivers forced to buy their own rigs, farmers caught in a trade war, small business owners in search of capital, and domestic workers serving without labor protections. Women and men who could thrive if only they had the support and freedom to do so.

Hasn’t she read the economic numbers? On December 20th, The National Review reported:

A recent Wall Street Journal economic analysis of current jobs reports found that worker wages were starting to rise above inflation and that the biggest percentage gains were showing up in the paychecks of the lowest income workers. In other words, income inequality with respect to take home pay was shrinking.

…Remarkable, too, about this chart is that every group that was least likely to vote for Trump has seen an abnormally large gain in jobs and wages. Our supposed racist president has delivered outsized economic gains for blacks and Hispanics — with both groups now experiencing the lowest unemployment rates in at least a half century. So much for Trump’s policies benefiting only white America. The rich are clearly not “the big winners” from Trump’s economic policies.

Contrast that with the economy when Democrats were in charge:

The poor and unskilled that Mr. Obama was supposed to lift out of poverty saw their incomes fall by 7.4 percent for those with less than a high school diploma and 8.2 percent for those with only a high school diploma. In dollar terms, between the time the Obama recovery began in June 2009 and until June 2014, median black household income fell by nearly $3,000, Hispanic households lost nearly $2,500, and female-headed households lost roughly $1,500. In 2015 and 2016, income gains were thankfully reversed for these demographic groups, but many still lost ground over eight years. The income gains under Mr. Obama were mostly concentrated in those Americans in the top 20 percent of income. This is why the income gap between rich and poor rose nearly every year under Obama.

Ms. Abrams, if you truly cared about the success of the middle and lower classes, you would support the policies of President Trump. President Trump’s economic policies have worked. President Obama’s economic policies failed miserably. I would also like to note that illegal immigration depresses the wages of unskilled workers. The Democrat party sold out the working man a long time ago.

 

This Is How You Actually Help Middle-Class Families

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial with the title, “Trump Delivers For Workers … After Years Of Empty Obama Promises.” The editorial cites the latest jobs report and explains how that excellent report is the result of President Trump’s economic policies. The first thing to remember here is that President Trump is a businessman–not a politician (although he has a very fast learning curve). His approach to government seems to be very similar to that of a businessman–what is the most efficient way to solve a problem? There are those in Washington who do not welcome this approach.

The editorial reminds us:

The 304,000 gain in jobs reported by the Labor Department was nearly twice the consensus estimate. And it comes after December’s expectation-busting gains.

There’s more. The jobs picture is so strong right now that it’s pulling people in who’ve been sitting on the sidelines.

In fact, for the first time in more than 20 years, the number of people who are out of the labor force — those without jobs and not looking — shrank by 647,000 over the past 12 months. So many people are returning to the labor force that the official unemployment rate is going up, even as the job market booms.

This comes, mind you, at a time when baby boomers are retiring en masse. Under Obama, in contrast, the number of labor force dropouts exploded by 14.4 million.

The latest numbers also underscore a point we’ve been making in this space for months — that all the talk of a tight labor market overlooked the vast pool of idle workers during the Obama years.

The editorial concludes:

Other evidence of this turnaround came earlier in the week, when the Labor Dept reported that private sector wages and salaries climbed 3% last year — the biggest annual increase in a decade. Under Obama, private sector wage gains averaged just 2%.

Why Now?

So why now, this late in the game?

The answer is simple. At least to those not blinded by partisanship or economic ideology.

For eight years, Obama kept promising “bottom-up growth,” while telling the country that tax cuts and deregulation would only benefit the rich. But his policies — Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, higher taxes, a regulatory tsunami — produced economic stagnation. As it always does, that stagnation hurt the working class most.

Trump went in the opposite direction. His pro-growth tax cuts, deregulatory campaign and pro-energy policies fueled huge increases in economic optimism and turbocharged the economy. And now we’re seeing real job growth and strong wage gains for the first time in more than a decade.

You tell us which approach is proving more worker friendly.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Republicans and Democrats could work together to insure the continuation of this economic growth?

The Workforce Participation Rate

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about the January Workforce Participation Rate. This is the number of people in America either working or looking for jobs. When President Obama took office in January 2009, the Workforce Participation Rate was 65.7. That number dropped to a low of 62.4 in September 2015 and began slowly climbing, reaching a high of 62.9 in September 2016. The number hovered around there for a while until finally reaching 63.2 in January 2019.

Here is the chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The article at CNS News reports:

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 304,000 jobs last month, higher than analysts were expecting.

The number of employed Americans, 156,694,000, was slightly below last month’s record (156,945,000), and the unemployment rate increased a tenth of a point to 4.0 percent.

But the labor force participation rate increased a tenth of a point to 63.2 percent — the highest it’s been on President Trump’s watch.

The CNS News article included an excerpt from the Congressional Budget Report released this week:

According to CBO:

Employment: Nonfarm payroll employment is projected to grow by an average of 148,000 jobs per month in 2019, a decline from 213,000 jobs/month in 2018 but “still a healthy pace of job growth at this stage of the business cycle.”

Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate, now at its lowest point since the 1960s, is projected to fall from 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 3.5 percent by the end of 2019. The anticipated decline in the unemployment rate reflects a continued increase in the demand for labor, which will reduce the number of unemployed workers in the labor force this year.

CBO said the demand for labor and the resulting upward pressure on compensation also encourages people to remain in the labor force or rejoin it, making the labor force larger and thus moderating the decline in the unemployment rate.

Labor force participation: The labor force participation rate, which has hovered around 62.8 percent since 2014, is expected to remain close to that rate during the next two years.

CBO explained that the stability of the labor force participation rate in recent years reflects the balancing of two opposing forces: sustained economic growth, which continues to encourage additional workers to enter the labor force and currently employed workers to stay on the job; and long-run shifts in demographics (particularly the aging of the population).

Labor compensation. After several years of prolonged weakness, wage growth accelerated notably in 2018, CBO noted. Over the next few years, labor compensation is expected to rise further as employment remains at elevated levels and firms must compete for a relatively small pool of unemployed or underemployed workers.

In CBO’s projections, annual growth of the employment cost index for wages and salaries of workers in private industry averages 3.5 percent between 2019 and 2023, slightly more rapid than its 3.3 percent pace in 2018 and considerably more rapid than the 2.0 percent average from 2009 to 2017.

President Trump’s economic policies are working. If he is allowed to continue those policies with a Democrat House of Representatives, he will be re-elected in 2020, so prepare to see the House of Representatives attempt to roll back many of those policies.

Consequences Of Good Economic Policy

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about The Heritage Foundation’s 25th annual “Index of Economic Freedom.”

The editorial reports:

In just one year, the U.S. climbed six places to 12th worldwide on the Heritage Foundation’s 25th annual “Index of Economic Freedom.” The U.S. index score of 76.8 is the highest since 2011, the report says.

Heritage bases its annual rankings on a dozen different measures of economic freedom, such as tax burden, protection of property rights, tax burden trade policies, labor laws, judicial effectiveness.

…In fact, during Obama’s tenure, the U.S. plunged from 6th place down to 18th on the Heritage freedom rank, in the wake of tax hikes and massive new financial, insurance and environmental regulations.

The editorial explains the importance of these ratings:

Why do these rankings matter? As Heritage explains, there’s a clear correlation between economic freedom and prosperity. The freer an economy is, the more prosperous its people.

Heritage finds that in countries consistently rated “free” or “mostly free,” average incomes are twice that of all other countries, and five times that of “repressed” economies.

The most striking example of the connection between freedom and prosperity is Venezuela. One of the wealthiest countries in South America before socialist dictator Hugo Chávez took control, Venezuela is now racked with hyperinflation, starvation, and political chaos.

But you can see the same impact in the U.S. as well.

The editorial concludes:

And the benefits of this growth are widespread. The unemployment rate was just 3.9% at the end of the year. The job market is so vibrant right now that it’s pulling people off the sidelines to look for work. In fact, the number of people who aren’t in the labor force actually declined last year. That hasn’t happened since 1996 — which was in the middle of the Clinton boom. Wage growth is accelerating, and median household incomes are at record highs.

The freedom index is a powerful reminder that while redistributionist policies — like those currently in favor among Democrats — might be emotionally satisfying, they won’t grow the economy or boost prosperity.

It will be interesting where our rating is next year in view of the fact that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives.

Americans Often Vote With Their Feet

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about New York City’s shrinking middle class.

The article reports:

After decades of sharp income erosion in the face of relentless taxes, escalating living costs and wage reductions through technological changes, the full extent of this shocking exodus is laid bare in the latest US Census data.

That shows the city is losing 100 residents each day — with departures exceeding new arrivals.

“The rich in New York City are getting richer; the poor are actually getting richer, but not rich enough to be middle class,” said Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, who has studied other data, noting the expansion in welfare and entitlement programs.

Earle said it isn’t unreasonable to assume middle-class incomes are falling even faster in New York City than in other major US cities, because of the city’s high — and rising — housing and other living costs.

New York City’s middle class comprises 48 percent of city residents, with median annual incomes between $30,000 and $60,000.

Thirty-one percent make lower incomes, and the ranks of the rich account for 21 percent of New York City residents.

By contrast, in the early 1970s, about 61 percent of New Yorkers were ensconced in the middle class; today, fewer than half are.

Recently Amazon opened a facility in Long Island City that received an estimated $3 billion in subsidies, increasing the tax burden on city residents. Although increasing the number of jobs is a good idea, having the taxpayers pay for those jobs is not.

The article concludes:

National chain-store locations have plunged in the city by 0.3 percent, to 7,849, this year, according to the Center for an Urban Future. And a record 18 chains, including Aerosoles and Nine West, vacated all their city sites in 2018.

One sector doing a booming “business” is food pantries. Despite a city unemployment rate of 4 percent, New York food pantries report elevated levels of demand, especially during the holiday season.

More than 1 million New Yorkers now worry they won’t have enough food for their families, according to recent studies.

Unless something changes in the economic policies of New York City, the city will no longer be the center of commerce and art that it has been. The voters in New York City need to take a good look at where there city is going and make the appropriate political changes.

When Congress Fails To Do Its Job, The Executive Branch Has To Do It

The Washington Times posted an article today about the Farm Bill that was recently passed. The House of Representatives added a more stringent work requirement to the Food Stamps Program, but the Senate eliminated the requirement. Thus the Farm Bill as it currently stands puts a 20-hour-per-week work requirement only on people between the ages of 18 and 49 who receive food stamps.

The article reports:

President Trump moved Thursday to tighten work requirements for people who receive food stamps, after Congress failed to include the proposal in a $400 billion farm bill that’s headed to the president’s desk.

The Agriculture Department said it is proposing a rule on Mr. Trump’s orders that would move “more able-bodied recipients” of food stamps back into working at least 20 hours per week.

“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”

…Currently, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to keep their food-stamp benefits. The House measure would have raised the age of recipients subject to work requirements from 49 to 59 and required parents with children older than 6 to work or participate in job training.

The Labor Force Participation Rate currently stands at 52.9 percent. The Unemployment Rate currently stands at 3.7 percent. Wages at all levels have risen under President Trump. Inflation for 2018 is slightly over 2 percent. There is no reason anyone collecting food stamps cannot find a place to work for 20 hours a week or enter a job-training program that will help them find a job that pays enough for them to get off of food stamps. The Agriculture Department is doing the right thing in looking into strengthening the work requirements to collect food stamps.

Another Bad Idea From A Socialist

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about Senator Bernie Sanders’ latest great idea–he wants to put all sorts of restrictions on Walmart until they start paying all of their employees $15 an hour.

The editorial states:

With typical Sanders subtlety, his new legislative proposal is called the “Stop WALMART act.”

Under it, big employers like Walmart would be banned from buying back shares in their own company unless they paid all their workers at least $15 an hour. They’d also have to cap CEO pay at 150 times the median employee pay, and provide seven days of paid sick leave. (Why Sanders doesn’t also include free lunches and bus tokens in his list of demands isn’t clear.)

Sanders says he’s building on the success of his Stop BEZOS act, which would have dictated that large companies “pay back” the cost of any government benefits received by any of their workers.

The editorial reminds us:

This is a company that employs 1.5 million people across the country. Some may not make what Sanders deems appropriate. But it’s good enough for many unskilled workers, who if they had a better offer would have taken it.

What’s more, Walmart’s relentless pursuit of lower prices not only helps middle class families stretch their hard-earned dollars further, but has helped hold down inflation economywide, according to economists who’ve studied the “Walmart effect.” That benefits everyone.

…If Sanders really wants to help Walmart workers, two proven things work. Cut taxes and deregulate the economy.

In the wake of the Trump tax cuts — which Sanders vehemently opposed — Walmart boosted its starting wage to $11 an hour, up from $9. It also handed out bonuses that started at $250 and climbed to $1,000 depending on years of service.

Meanwhile, the economic boom under Trump’s economic policies has cut the unemployment rate to 50-year lows. It’s also drawn millions back into the workforce, and sparked the fastest wage growth in a decade.

No mandates. No threats or browbeating. No central planning needed.

Walmart is probably not the ideal career for everyone. However, I personally know someone who was able to support himself at college by working there part time. They hired a young kid out of high school and helped him get an education. He didn’t make it a career, but it helped move him toward the career he wanted.

Since when does the American government have the right to target a specific company and tell them what they must pay their employees?

The Economic Numbers From October

First of all, the following chart is found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. It shows the Workforce Participation Rate in recent years.

The number 62.9 is not a great number, but it is a step in the right direction.

Below is a chart posted at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website showing the unemployment rate for October.

The fact that the unemployment rate remained steady as the labor participation rate increased is good news for Americans. It means that there is continued growth in the job market.

Today The Wall Street Journal posted more good economic news:

Strong hiring and low unemployment are delivering U.S. workers their best pay raises in nearly a decade.

Employers shook off a September slowdown to add 250,000 jobs to their payrolls in October, above monthly averages in recent years, the Labor Department said Friday. With unemployment holding at 3.7%, a 49-year low, and employers competing for scarce workers, wages increased 3.1% from a year earlier, the biggest year-over-year gain for average hourly earnings since 2009.

…The share of Americans in their prime working years, between 25 and 54, who are working or looking for work rose to the highest rate since 2010 last month, at 82.3%.

President Trump touted the figures in a tweet Friday, just days before midterm elections that will decide control of Congress. “Wages UP! These are incredible numbers,” Mr. Trump said.

Employers have added to their payrolls for a record 97 straight months.

This is the Trump economy. The Federal Reserve is beginning to raise interest levels to more normal levels, which may slow down the growth of the economy, but keeping interest rates at artificially low levels is not a good long-term strategy. We still have a need to control our spending and get the national debt under control, but strong economic growth and a lessening of the need for welfare programs should begin that process. There will be some adjustments along the way–low interest rates will no longer be keeping the stock market artificially high and rising interest rates may slow the housing market, but raising interest rates will also help bring us back to a more balanced economy.

If the Republicans hold Congress, the economic growth will continue. If the Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives, we will be in for a very bumpy economic ride.

Something That Is Happening Underneath The Noise

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about how the economy is doing under the Trump administration.

The article reports:

The number of Americans filing applications for new unemployment benefits fell to a new 49-year low for the third straight week, though Hurricane Florence’s effect on the jobs market remains unclear.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 201,000 in the week ended Sept. 15, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the lowest level since December 1969, and less than the 210,000 claims economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected.

The article includes the following chart:

The article concludes:

Jobless claims have remained low in recent years, as the labor market continues to tighten and managers face difficulty finding qualified employees. The unemployment rate has been hovering near an 18-year low in recent months.

The number of claims workers made for longer than a week declined by 55,000 to 1,645,000 in the week ended Sept. 8. The figure, also known as continuing claims, is reported with a one-week lag.

This growth is the result of deregulation, tax cuts, and the energy policy of the Trump administration. This growth will halt abruptly if the Democrats take control of Congress in November as they have already announced plans to reverse the policies put in place by the Trump administration that have resulted in the growth.

The Jobs Report Came Out Today

The jobs report came out today. The number I watch, and I am waiting to see change is the Workforce Participation Rate. That number is holding steady at 62.9. That is not a great number, but it is an okay number. That number reached 66 during some of early 2008, but has generally been in the 63 or 64 range most of the time since then. The other numbers on the report are really good.

CNS News is reporting the numbers today:

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says a record 155,965,000 people were employed in July, the 11th record-breaker since President Trump took office 19 months ago.

“Our economy is soaring. Our jobs are booming. Factories are pouring back into our country, they coming from all over the world. We are defending our workers,” President Trump told a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

BLS said the economy added 157,000 jobs in July (compared with a revised 248,000 in June).

The unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, as the number of employed people reached new heights, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6,280,000 in July. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent) and Whites (3.4 percent) declined in July. The jobless rates for adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers (13.1 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), and Asians (3.1 percent), showed little or no change over the month. The unemployment rate for Hispanics hit a record low of 4.5 percent, down from last month’s record 4.6 percent.

There was also good news for wage-earners–in addition to the tax cut, hourly wages went up:

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $27.05. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent.

This growth is the direct result of the policies of President Trump–the combination of deregulation, tax cuts, and domestic energy development has resulted in economic growth.

 

Good Economic News

Trading Economics is reporting today:

Labor Force Participation Rate in the United States increased to 62.90 percent in June from 62.70 percent in May of 2018 as the civilian labor force grew by 601,000. Labor Force Participation Rate in the United States averaged 62.99 percent from 1950 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 67.30 percent in January of 2000 and a record low of 58.10 percent in December of 1954.

CNBC is reporting today:

The employment part of the economy continued to power forward in June, adding another 213,000 jobs though the unemployment rate rose to 4 percent, according to a government report Friday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a nonfarm payrolls gain of 195,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 3.8 percent, which had been tied for the lowest since 1969.

Another solid month of job gains provided little help to wages. In addition to the payroll gains, average hourly earnings rose 2.7 percent year over year, a bit below expectations of a 2.8 percent increase.

Despite increasing talk about the economy being near full employment, hiring continues to grow. Along with June’s upside surprise, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised April’s count up from 159,000 to 175,000 and May’s from 223,000 to 244,000, a total of 37,000 more than initially stated.

The report at CNBC also states:

While the meeting summary indicated a belief that the labor outlook “had continued to strengthen,” there also was concern that businesses are having a hard time filling jobs. While some of the Fed’s contacts indicated they are raising pay, the overall feeling was that wage pressures remain subdued, which was confirmed by Friday’s report.

The bottom line here is that the economy is improving. It may not be as rapidly as some would like, but it is moving in the right direction at a brisk pace. As Americans, we might want to look at the statement that businesses are having a hard time filling jobs. If businesses are having a hard time finding qualified workers, where is the problem? Have we created a society where it is more lucrative to stay home than to work, or is the problem in our education system? Why are our schools not turning out more skilled workers? What do we need to do to change that? Is it time to bring back vocational schools and apprenticeships? Answering those questions might create an economy that continues to thrive.

The Trump Economy Keeps Rolling Along

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about the latest unemployment numbers. There is lots of good news.

The article reports:

The U.S. labor market was firing on all cylinders in May: the unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low, employers added jobs at a faster pace and wages modestly improved.

The unemployment rate ticked down to a seasonally adjusted 3.8%, matching April 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969, the Labor Department said Friday. Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 223,000 in May, a jump from gains from March and April. Average hourly earnings ticked up to a 2.7% from a year earlier—and raises were even stronger for nonmanagers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the workforce participation rate is at 62.7. That number has fluctuated very little since January 2016. It should increase as the economy further improves.

The article further reports:

A broad measure of unemployment and underemployment that includes Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to look for work fell to 7.6% from 7.8% the prior month. That rate, known as the U-6, remains somewhat elevated compared with the last time unemployment was similarly low. In April 2000, the broader measure was 6.9%.

Like him or hate him, Donald Trump understands what was needed to grow the American economy. I am grateful that he is helping all of us to prosper.

The article also reports:

The unemployment rate for women, 3.6% last month, was the lowest since 1953, when far smaller share of women sought jobs. The jobless rates for blacks, Latinos and those without high-school diplomas are trending near record lows.

It is amazing what has happened to the economy in the last eighteen months. I suspect that not everyone is cheering.

 

 

The Numbers Are Good, But They Need To Be Better

The American economy is slowly improving. It is not racing along, but it is improving. Investor’s Business Daily recently posted an editorial explaining that although we have a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, we are not yet at full employment. As the article explains, there are other numbers that need to be considered when looking at the economy.

The editorial reports:

But look at the numbers more closely and you see that we are far from full employment.

First, the 0.1 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate in October was almost entirely the result of the fact that 968,000 dropped out of the labor force that month.

That’s right, for every new job created, nearly four people left the labor force.

The broader measure of unemployed — which combines those actively searching for a job with those working part time but want to work full time or are “marginally attached” to the labor force — show the jobless rate to be 7.9%.

And the IBD-TIPP poll shows that there’s likely even more slack than that. The October survey — which asks those polled whether they or anyone in their household is looking for work — shows that the share of job seekers is currently above 10%. This number, by the way, has consistently tracked higher than either of the BLS’s two measures.

Here’s another way to look at it. Back in December 2000, the unemployment rate was 3.9%. But that month, the labor force participation rate — the share of the population that’s either working or looking for a job — was 67%.

The current rate: 62.7%.

If the labor force participation rate were the same today as it was in 2000, the official unemployment rate would be more like 10%.

The 10% unemployment rate would be better than what the actual rate has been in recent years, but obviously, it is not good.

The editorial concludes:

There is clearly still a need for pro-growth policies to get millions of workers sitting on the sidelines back to work.

Those pro-growth policies need to begin with the passage of President Trump’s tax proposal followed by a complete repeal of ObamaCare. If the Republicans in Congress want to be re-elected, they need to do both. It is time to put away the fear of a political outsider succeeding as President and begin to work together to move the country forward.

An article on

An article on the website of the JFK Library includes the following paragraph:

The president finally decided that only a bold domestic program, including tax cuts, would restore his political momentum. Declaring that the absence of recession is not tantamount to economic growth, the president proposed in 1963 to cut income taxes from a range of 20-91% to 14-65% He also proposed a cut in the corporate tax rate from 52% to 47%. Ironically, economic growth expanded in 1963, and Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress insisted that reducing taxes without corresponding spending cuts was unacceptable. Kennedy disagreed, arguing that “a rising tide lifts all boats” and that strong economic growth would not continue without lower taxes.

I wonder if John Kennedy would be welcome in today’s Democratic party.

 

Good News On The Job Front

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs numbers for June this morning. CNS News posted the numbers.

This is the Labor Force Participation Rate chart taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

As you can see, the Labor Force Participation Rate is fairly steady and moving upward.

Meanwhile, the article at CNS News reports:

The U.S. economy added 220,000 jobs in June, the best showing since February and well above analysts’ expectations of 174,000.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics also said the number of employed Americans — which set records in February, March and April — set another record in June, at 153,168,000 employed.

And the number of Americans not in the labor force — after four straight monthly gains – dropped a bit to 94,813,000.

There is still a lot that needs to be done to put Americans back to work, but we are moving in the right direction. Cutting back on federal regulations should help stimulate the economy, but that impact of cutting those regulations may not be immediately felt.

The article further reports:

Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 194,000 per month.

In a June 29, 2017 update, the Congressional Budget Office said it expects the U.S. labor market to tighten in the next two years, as greater demand for workers will push the unemployment rate down and the labor force participation rate up.

The projected demand for workers will encourage more people to participate in the labor force, temporarily offsetting the projected decline in participation arising from such factors as the ongoing retirement of baby boomers.

CBO projects that the unemployment rate will remain around 4.3 percent by the end of 2017 and then drop further to 4.2 percent in early 2018.

How To Lie With Statistics

Ever wonder where the unemployment numbers come from? Ever wonder why you don’t seem to be moving forward and Washington is telling you how great the economic recovery is? Every wonder why you know a lot of Americans who have been unemployed for a long time and have given up searching for a job when the government keeps telling you that thousands of new jobs are being created every month? Ever wonder why your reality does not seem to agree with the reality you see reported on the news? Well, the world most of us live in is a little different from the world that the people writing the news, reporting the news, and working for the government live in.

This article doesn’t need words–it just needs charts and graphs.

From CNS News, the real unemployment picture:

BLMJobStatisticsThese are the real unemployment numbers–not the ones the Obama Administration is releasing–these numbers take into account the workforce participation rate.

This is the workforce participation rate taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

WorkforceParticipationRateSo why are those in Washington painting such a rosy picture of the economy? They are doing great. Here is a list of the wealthiest counties in America from Wikipedia. The list is from 2012, but I seriously doubt much has changed. Note where they are located:

wealthiestcountiesinAmericaOur representatives no longer represent us. Nor are the bureaucrats in government serving the American people. It is long past time to clean house!

 

Looking Past The Obvious

President Obama has touted the ‘economic recovery‘ as one of his accomplishments. He might want to be a little quieter about that as the latest jobs figures and the numbers behind them indicate a very slow recovery.

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the jobs numbers just released.

Some highlights from the article:

While last month’s overall gain of 38,000 jobs, including a 25,000 rise in private payrolls, was dragged down temporarily by the labor strike of 35,000 Verizon (VZ) communications workers, the weakness was broad-based. On net, just 51.3% of industries added jobs, the lowest since February 2010, Labor Department data showed.

…One decent bit of news in the employment report is that the trend of firming wages remained intact, as hourly pay rose 0.2% from April and 2.5% from a year ago. That’s consistent with anecdotal reports of companies having to pay more to attract or keep good workers, and many finding qualified workers in short supply.

…The drop in the unemployment rate to 4.7% from 5% in April appears at first to be consistent with a tight labor market. Still, the sudden drop in joblessness, which reflected fewer people in the workforce rather than an increase in employment, should be taken with a grain of salt, given the household survey’s higher margin of error.

…The reality portrayed by the weak jobs report got some confirmation from the Institute for Supply Management’s survey of non-manufacturing industries, with the index slipping to a 28-month low of 52.9 in May from 55.7 in April — well below expectations. The employment gauge fell into negative territory, dropping 3.3 points to 49.7, just below the neutral 50 level.

…Somehow, the retail sector has seemingly defied gravity when it comes to employment, adding 11,400 jobs last month and 323,000 over the past year. The explanation may be that the workweek has shrunk, since aggregate hours of work in the retail industry are down 0.3% over the past three months.

So what is the bottom line? Workforce participation is down, job growth is slow, and the number of hours people are working has gone down. That doesn’t sound like a robust economic recovery to me. It is definitely time for a change of direction. As I have previously stated, I am not a Trump supporter, but I will vote for him because I believe that he may have the business experience to turn this mess around.

When You Look At The Entire Picture, It Does Not Look Really Good

Chances are that someone in the news today is going to celebrate the fact that the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.9 percent (he lowest since February 2008, the Labor Department said on Friday). That sounds really good until you start looking at the entire picture.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today that shows the entire picture. Here are a few inconvenient facts from the article:

Looks like the 2015Q4 GDP results told a broader story than some credited. The Associated Press called the results from today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reporta sharp deceleration from recent months” (later removing “sharp” from that description), paralleling the sharper deceleration of production. The US economy added only 151,000 jobs, a miss on expectations and barely enough to tread water on population expansion.

…Numerous news services heralded the a drop in U-3 rate of unemployment to 4.9%, but the number of people not in the workforce also rose by 360,000 people from last month (table A-16). That follows an increase of 284,000 the previous month. Those not in the labor force who want a job increased by 461,000, and that follows an increase of 379,000 in the previous month. The latter measure had been falling in 2015, but has reversed itself by 840,000 in two months — both in the 0.7%-growth-rate Q4.

The article concludes:

The sharp reversal on exits from the labor force should be the greatest concern from this report. The 151,000 added jobs pales in comparison to those numbers, and those added jobs only account for population growth anyway. Combined with last quarter’s GDP growth rate, it appears that 2016 is off to a tough start, and may signal a very tough year.

Eight years of President Obama’s economic policies have had consequences. The over regulation, the war on coal, the war on fracking, the decision to stop the Keystone Pipeline, and ObamaCare have all had economic consequences. If Hillary Clinton is elected, we will have more of the same. If a small government Republican is elected, he will be in a position to set the American economy free. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

The July Employment Numbers

This is the chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

BureauofLaborStatisticsJuly2015

So what does this mean? Breitbart.com posted a story about the numbers today.

The article reports:

July’s labor force participation rate however remained the the same as June at 62.6 percent. Before last month the labor force participation rate had not been that low since October 1977, when the participation rate was 62.4 percent.

The BLS reports that the civilian labor force did experience a slight uptick from 157,037,000 in June to 157,106,000 in July after the month of June saw it drop by 432,000.

While the labor participation rate remains at the lowest its been since the late 1970s, the BLS highlighted that the unemployment rate remained at 5.3 percent and nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 215,000.

The labor participation rate is a concern. The unemployment rate does not take the labor participation rate into consideration–it is based only on the number of people actually looking for work that are unemployed. The current labor participation rate is not indicative of a healthy economy.

 

Looking Past The Obvious

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the June jobs report. Most of the mainstream media is trumpeting the fact that 237,000 jobs were created in June. That is good, but what they fail to mention is that the civilian labor force shrank by 432,000.

The article reports:

The labor force participation rate also decreased 0.3 percent from last month to 62.6 percent.

The country has not seen a labor force participation rate that low since October 1977 when the participation rate was 62.4 percent.

The BLS reports that the civilian labor force also shrank by 432,000 in June, from 157,469,000 in May to 157,037,000 in June.

While people dropped out of the workforce the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) highlighted that the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent and payroll jobs increased by 223,000.

The number of people who dropped out of the labor force was higher than the number of jobs created. That is not a good thing.