Sunday, 8 December 2019

Holiday Unemployment Down 3 Million from Obama Economy at Same Time 5 Years Ago

The weather outside in Washington isn’t particularly frightful right now.
As I sit down to write this, it’s going to maybe hit 44 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday and the forecast is for sunny weather. The night might be a little bit chilly — going down to about 27 — but given that most of D.C. will be hunched down at home or inside Foggy Bottom taprooms by then, that’s no big deal.
So that part doesn’t follow the old Christmas standard. However, the jobs news is, indeed, so delightful. (Yes, that’s the way the carol goes in D.C., I swear.)
The November employment report, released Friday, showed that payrolls jumped by 266,000 last month. Bloomberg reported their surveys showed an expectation of 180,000 jobs added. So much for that recession prediction, at least for the moment.
Unemployment also hit 3.5 percent, a half-century low.
Obviously, we’re coming up to an election year, which means comparing the incumbent with his predecessor. There are plenty of differences, as you’re probably aware of, and a lot of them have to deal with personal preference.
However, on the economy, it’s not a subjective matter: This holiday season, there are 3 million fewer people on the unemployment rolls than there were five years ago.
Take the 2014 unemployment report from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics: “In November, the unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 9.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.”
Then 2019: “Both the unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 5.8 million, changed little in November.“
That’s also with nearly identical labor force participation numbers — 63.2 percent in 2019 compared to 62.8 in 2014.
And that wasn’t the only early Christmas present for the Trump administration in the report, either.
Hourly wages were up 3.1 percent from a year ago, another number that beat expectations.
The number of employees who were employed part-time for economic reasons — meaning they would have preferred full-time work — was at 4.3 million in 2019. That number was 6.9 million five years ago.
The number of long-term unemployed — defined as being jobless for 27 weeks or more — was at 1.2 million. That figure was 2.8 million in the 2014 report. 
“It’s a significant surprise because economists were ready to go with the idea that payroll growth was slowing down because the job market had gotten tight,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont, told Bloomberg.
“The whole tenor has changed in terms of job growth. We’re back at steady-as-she-goes at a robust pace.”
In short, you know all of those predictions about how we were about to spiral into a recession that dominated media coverage of the economy for the last few months? At least for Christmas, those are going to have to be packed away.
“Bottom line, America is working,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told CNBC.
“These are very strong numbers. These are happy numbers, these are sunny Friday numbers.”
GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a close ally to the president, was a bit more effusive.
“President Trump’s economy is sizzling with more jobs, less unemployment, and higher wages,” he said in a statement.
”While impeachment-hungry Democrats, like the Grinch, are trying to ruin the holiday spirit, President Trump’s pro-growth policies are expanding economic opportunity and gifting Christmas cheer to consumers. When government cuts taxes, reduces regulations, and empowers its citizens, I’m not surprised to see these positive results.
“November’s jobs report has again proved that the American economy is strong and is benefiting countless individuals, families, and businesses. I hope my Democrat colleagues will drop their obsessive obstruction of this administration and work with the President to ensure a continuation of this economic prowess.”
The president downplayed the jobs report, saying he preferred to focus on … no, just kidding.
Stock Markets Up Record Numbers. For this year alone, Dow up 18.65%, S&P up 24.36%, Nasdaq Composite up 29.17%. “It’s the economy, stupid.”
31.7K people are talking about this
The thing is that a Twitter victory lap is never the worst idea for the president, particularly when you consider that universally acclaimed job numbers were just an opportunity for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to say the economy wasn’t really that great.
She used the occasion as a pivot to the Democrats’ drug pricing plan — an infeasible proposal that has zero chance of passing in the Senate.
“Despite some encouraging numbers, the November jobs report offers little solace to the farmers and hard-working families who are struggling to stay above water with the costs of living rising and uncertainty surging,” Pelosi’s statement read.
“We must take action to strengthen the health and financial security of America’s seniors and families. Next week, the House will pass our transformational Lower Drug Costs Now Act to finally stop Americans from having to pay more for their medicines than what Big Pharma charges for the same drugs in other countries. When we lower out-of-control prescription drug prices, we deliver huge savings for patients, employers and taxpayers — which we will reinvest in the search for cures and historic new vision, dental and hearing benefits for Medicare beneficiaries.”
Note that none of this has to do with the numbers, just Democrat talking points — talking points that seem to have existed for as long as the concept of income inequality has.
As for that uncertainty, she should probably consider that a separate survey found consumer sentiment was at a seven-month high. So much for that. Good luck with that drug plan, too.
The subtext here is that Pelosi’s Thursday announcement encouraging Democrats to pursue articles of impeachment against Trump — a decision every bit as surprising as the fact that Trump pardoned the Thanksgiving turkeys as opposed to chopping their heads off in front of the media and then eating the gizzards raw — now sported sails that were slightly more windless.
But then, that’s the great fear — that the Democrats will have to run in 2020 on Trump’s record as opposed to just running on Donald Trump.
Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and whoever the Democratic presidential nominee ends up being wants to talk about about alleged quid pro quos and Trump’s solecisms, not the state of the economy.

If that ends up being the case, all the Republicans have to do is point to where we were just five short years ago.

Post a comment

Start typing and press Enter to search