‘The American Economy Is Humming’

In ‘A Remarkable Rebound’ From The Last Recession, ‘The Benefits Of The Strong Economy Lifted The Fortunes Of More Americans’


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “According to the latest Department of Labor report, unemployment in the United States of America has now fallen to 3.7 percent. That’s our lowest unemployment rate since 1969…. [I]t is rising wages, more job opportunities, and new investment. And it’s reaching kitchen tables and communities large and small all across America. The real winners here are the American people. Republicans are just proud our policies are helping them do what they do best.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/10/2018)

“The unemployment rate fell to a nearly five-decade low in September, punctuating a remarkable rebound … By almost any measure, the American economy is humming. Gross domestic product is on pace for its best year since the housing bubble of the mid-2000s. Consumers and businesses are the most confident they have been in years, if not decades. Stock market indexes are near record highs.” (The New York Times, 10/05/2018)

The Unemployment Rate Is Under 4%, ‘The Lowest Since December 1969’

“The jobless rate fell to 3.7%, the lowest since December 1969, the Labor Department said Friday.” (“U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since 1969,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/05/2018)

  • “Unemployment rates below 4% are extremely rare in 70 years of modern record-keeping…. In 1953, the year the Korean War ended, the jobless rate got as low as 2.5%. In the 1960s, it stayed below 4% for nearly four years, until a bout of rising inflation and interest rates led to recession and rising joblessness. Another run below 4% in 2000 lasted just a few months, burst by a bubble in technology stocks.” (“U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since 1969,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/05/2018)

“The turnaround from a decade ago is hard to overstate…. Crucially, the recovery is reaching groups that struggled in the early years of the recovery. The unemployment rates for African-Americans and Hispanics are both near all-time lows. Teenagers, less-educated workers and disabled Americans have also made progress in recent months.” (The New York Times, 10/05/2018)


‘The Highest Level On Record’ For Available Jobs, ‘Shifting More Power To Workers’

“The number of available jobs in the U.S. exceeded the number of job seekers by more than 650,000 in July—a gap that has been growing … The number of available jobs in the U.S. rose by about 117,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.94 million in July, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That is the highest level on record back to 2000, exceeding the prior peak set in April. It also exceeds the 6.28 million Americans who were unemployed during the month, meaning they were without work but actively seeking a job.” (“Job Openings Exceed Unemployed Americans Again in July as Employers Feel the Pinch,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/11/2018)

  • “The tight labor market—shown by an unemployment rate holding near a 17-year low—is shifting more power to workers. And increasingly they are willing to quit their jobs. In July, 3.58 million workers voluntarily left their jobs, the highest level on record, the Labor Department said. ‘The tight labor market is quickly causing workers to gain the confidence they need to quit their jobs,’ said JPMorgan Chase economist Jesse Edgerton. ‘That movement should lead to better wage growth.’” (“Job Openings Exceed Unemployed Americans Again in July as Employers Feel the Pinch,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/11/2018)


‘Compensation For Workers Rose To A Nearly 10-Year High,’ ‘Low-Income Workers See Long-Awaited Wage Gains’

“Compensation for workers rose to a nearly 10-year high in the second quarter … The employment cost index increased 0.6 percent for civilian workers in the three-month period ending in June, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics release Tuesday. That brought the 12-month rate up to 2.8 percent, the highest level since 2.9 percent in the third quarter of 2008 … the ECI has been on a steady rise over the past year and a half.” (“Worker Pay Rate Hits Highest Level Since 2008,” CNBC, 7/31/2018)

“The benefits of a strong job market are spreading in the form of higher wages for many of those left behind for much of the past decade’s economic expansion, including young Americans, low-income households and people with the least education. The unemployment rate in September fell to 3.7%, its lowest level since 1969. That is creating worker shortages and wage gains, not just for high-skilled workers who tend to command the best pay but also for low-skilled and blue-collar workers whose wages lag behind.” (“Low-Income Workers See Long-Awaited Wage Gains,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/05/2018)


Middle-Class Incomes Are Up And The Poverty Rate Is Down

“Middle-class income rose to the highest recorded levels in 2017 and the national poverty rate declined as the benefits of the strong economy lifted the fortunes of more Americans, the U.S. Census reported …” (“Middle-Class Income Rose Above $61,000 For The First Time Last Year, U.S. Census Bureau Says,” The Washington Post, 9/12/2018)


‘Consumer Confidence Hit An 18-Year High’ And ‘US Small Business Optimism Just Hit Its Highest Level In History’

“Consumer confidence hit an 18-year high in September, a positive indicator for spending going into the holiday shopping season, as robust job growth and a strong economic outlook bolstered Americans’ expectations for the future.” (“U.S. Consumer Confidence Hits 18-Year High,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/25/2018)

“US small business optimism just hit its highest level in history … A measure of optimism among U.S. small-business owners rose to a record and exceeded projections as companies planned the most capital spending since 2007 and hiring intentions hit an all-time high, a National Federation of Independent Business survey showed …” (“US Small Business Optimism Just Hit Its Highest Level In History,” The Washington Post, 9/11/2018)



Related Issues: Jobs, Small Business, Labor, Middle Class, Economy