The U.S. economy is the strongest in the world and it shows no signs of slowing down. On Friday, another incredible economic report was released as the September unemployment rate dropped to 3.7%, the lowest since 1969. Among Hispanics and Latinos, the unemployment rate was only 4.5%, the all-time lowest level in history, while among African Americans, the unemployment rate was 6.0%, near the record low.
Not only are people finding work, but Americans are earning more. Compared to September of 2017, wages increased 2.8%, while the typical work week remained steady at 34.5 hours. While only 134,000 new jobs were created in September, the employment numbers for August were revised upward to 270,000. Thus, over the last year, an average of 201,000 new jobs were created each month.
With more jobs being created, fewer people need food stamps. Currently, over 39 million Americans are on food stamps, a decrease of 4 million since the beginning of the Trump presidency.
Americans are feeling good about the economy at exactly the right time with the holiday season approaching. In August, the consumer confidence index hit an 18-year high. With consumer spending accounting for 70% of the overall economic activity, this is an important factor in why the economy is doing so well.
These positive indicators are not just happening by coincidence. Instead, they are the result of the President’s economic policies. Fueled by tax cuts and the lifting of onerous regulations, businesses are hiring Americans in record numbers. The National Federation of Independent Business association reported that the Optimism Index in August soared to an all-time high, eclipsing a record set in 1983 during the Reagan economic boom.
The nation’s gross domestic product soared 4.2% in the last quarter, averaging more than 3% for the year, surpassing the highest total in any year of the Obama presidency.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump denounced onerous trade agreements as being unfair to the United States. He promptly withdrew our country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This week, after months of negotiations, President Trump announced a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, updating the flawed NAFTA agreement. In response, the stock market hit record highs.
The new trade deal will also be a major boon for U.S. manufacturers. According to a new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers, 93% of members predict additional growth and over 91% are optimistic about the future. These results are among the very best the organization has recorded in its 20-year history.
Fortunately, the growth has been focused on the private sector. In the federal workforce, the Trump administration has trimmed 16,000 jobs since the beginning of the President’s term in January of 2017. While this is not a major decrease in a federal workforce of almost 3 million, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Usually, Americans vote their pocketbook during election time. With strong economic growth, it is not surprising that the latest Rasmussen poll showed the President with an approval rating of 51%, his highest level since March of last year.
It is hard to discount these economic success stories, even though the media that is 95% opposed to President Trump, tries to regularly ignore this good news. If the liberal media were objective and would publicize the positive economic reports, the President’s approval rating would be much higher. Instead, the media are constantly reporting on negative stories designed to harm the President’s political standing and his agenda.
With additional tax cuts, stronger trade deals and an enhanced effort to limit illegal immigration, the nation’s economy should continue to grow under President Trump’s policies over the next two years. The outlook through 2020 is amazingly strong according to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell. In a speech this week to the National Association of Business Economics, Powell said “This historically rare pairing of steady, low inflation and very low unemployment is a testament to the fact we remain in extraordinary times.”
The key to maintaining such “extraordinary times” will be for these positive economic policies to continue. Hopefully, American voters will recognize what is happening and reward the President by keeping the U.S. Congress under the control of the Republican Party in the mid-term elections.
Otherwise, America can get ready for the ugly prospect of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, impeachment hearings, an end to the “Deep State” investigations and an attempt to roll back the historic tax cuts. Sadly, Democrats have embraced socialism and this big government agenda is anathema to financial markets and will sidetrack our economic growth.
The stakes for our country and our economy could not be higher as we countdown the final few weeks until the mid-term elections. With the economy going so well, let’s hope American voters do not shift gears and empower politicians who espouse policies that have failed miserably both here and throughout the world.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]