In their less vulgar moments, President Trump’s critics chide him for his unparalleled use of superlatives. Most things, to Trump, seem “incredible,” “fantastic,” “tremendous,” or “like we’ve never seen before.”
But such outsized words perfectly fit Friday’s jobs report.
“The Employment Situation” — the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly jobs bulletin — runneth over with news that is not just good, but spectacular. Many statistics we indeed have never seen before.
- Overall, the U.S. economy in May created 223,000 new jobs, 17.4 percent more than the 190,000 positions that economists anticipated.
- The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, tying the figure for April 2000. To find a lower rate of joblessness, one would have to dig back nearly half a century, to December 1969, when the unemployment rate hit 3.5 percent under President Richard Nixon.
- The total number of Americans employed stands at 155,474,000 — a record.
- America’s supposedly racist president is busy making black America great again. May’s unemployment rate for blacks was 5.9 percent, far lower than April’s figure of 6.6 percent. This puts the record-low black unemployment rate at levels we’ve never seen before.
- For Hispanics, another group that Trump allegedly hates, unemployment was at 4.9 percent, also a record low.
- Among adult women — a massive demographic group of Americans whom Trump reportedly disdains — joblessness fell to 3.3 percent, a figure last seen 65 years ago, in 1953 — under President Dwight Eisenhower!
- For those who never graduated high school, unemployment was 5.4 percent last month: higher than November’s 5.2 percent, but down markedly from April’s 5.9 percent.
- Wages rose 2.7 percent in year-over-year terms. While this pace could be higher, paychecks clearly are moving the right way.
- Job openings are now at 6.6 million, yet another record.
Fox Business Network anchor Charles Payne, on whose Making Money program I regularly appear, praised the increase in the number of workers with what he calls “dirty fingernail” jobs. Rather than float mentally in the clouds for a living, as I do, these Americans actually make stuff — solid, hard things that one can place on a shop floor and admire. Between January 2017 and May 2018, according to BLS, these sectors saw jobs grow dramatically.
Coal mining saw 3,300 jobs added, up 6.6 percent during that interval. Mining overall saw 63,000 more positions, up 10.1 percent. 332,000 more manufacturing jobs were added, up 2.7 percent, to the highest level since December 2008, according to the White House. And 401,000 more people work in construction, up 5.9 percent, to a mark not achieved since June 2008.
Figures for second-quarter GDP growth arrive in July. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta already has issued its estimate: torrid, 4.8 percent expansion. This is preliminary and might prove overstated. But the fact that this figure is well above the 3 percent growth tempo to which Trump aspires suggests that the economy has a good chance to match or exceed Trump’s target.
In short, the Trump/GOP economy is doing it, you know, like a jobs machine.
Democrats resist praising Trump, no matter how good the news or how widely the bounty is spread.
Such a stellar development should make Americans cheer unanimously. However, Democrats resist praising Trump, no matter how good the news or how widely the bounty is spread. The objective is to signal blind, unblinking hatred for Trump at all times and in all places, regardless of the circumstances.
Thus, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California managed to squeeze teardrops from all this sunshine.
“May’s jobs report shows that strong employment numbers mean little to the families hit with soaring new costs under the Republicans’ watch,” Pelosi stated. “Mean little?” Really? Tell those returning to work that their new jobs and fresh paychecks “mean little.” That’s a little mean.
Marie Antoinette Pelosi complained about rising health-insurance premiums. Never mind that they soared like Iranian missiles after the “triumph” of Obamacare.
The Princess of Pacific Heights also moaned about rising energy prices, even though she opposes oil drilling in Alaska’s ANWR sector, the Keystone XL Pipeline, offshore fossil-fuel exploration, and fracking — all of which should boost petroleum and gas supplies and lower energy costs for everyday families and individuals.
“Thanks to the massive windfall of the GOP tax scam, Wall Street and wealthy corporations are on track to spend $1 trillion on dividends and stock buybacks while simultaneously announcing tens of thousands of layoffs and shipping jobs overseas and refusing to raise workers’ wages,” Pelosi huffed and puffed. These words confirm that the House’s top Democrat is untethered from reality, hurtling into a black hole of her own design.
Dividend payments and stock buybacks line the pockets of all investors, including union members whose pension plans normally contain dividend-yielding equities. Corporations are hiring like crazy, inside America. Big companies also are hiking compensation, in some cases boosting minimum wages to at least $15 per hour, the level that the Left’s “Fight for $15” campaign has decreed is the quintessence of “fairness.” As have many other companies since the 21 percent corporate tax kicked in, Charter Communications, Discover Financial Services, and Cigna have hiked their hourly minimum wages to $15, $15.25, and $16, respectively.
Also, Americans for Tax Reform reports that at least 587 companies have used their shares of the Trump/GOP tax cuts (which each and every congressional Democrat opposed) to hand their employees bonuses, fatten their paychecks, boost their benefits, invest in their facilities and operations, and even expand their charitable donations.
Nancy Pelosi has no idea what she’s spewing.
This economy is fueled by pro-market, Republican public policy: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, tremendous deregulation, billions of dollars in overseas-profit repatriation and deployment, and a pro-business tone that has liberated entrepreneurs and CEOs from Obama’s “You didn’t build that!” hectoring and abuse. As output accelerates and pulls the entire nation along with it, public confidence and happiness will rise ever higher. So will the GOP’s electoral prospects.
President Trump’s mission should be to keep job creation and growth beautiful without poisoning either through import-tax hikes or other protectionist toxins. Why this man is so right on taxing American businesses and individuals and so wrong on taxing foreign goods that Americans want remains a mystery.
For now, there’s no denying what the president of the United States told journalists on the White House lawn on Friday afternoon: “We’re building something very special.”