It’s amazing how much can change over the course of the year. Not only that, how mere perception can be just as effective, if not more so, than actual policy. When Trump burst onto the scene, the economy was in the dumps for multiple reasons. Obama’s disastrous policies did nothing to alleviate unemployment or stagnating growth. On top of that, his general ideology and views on the economy and labor were enough to stifle investment and undermine growth.
The people running major companies and greasing the wheels of the economy are smart, they act based upon the president’s views and what he plans to do in Congress. As soon as Trump defeated Hillary, we instantly saw the market outlook improve and investment start to rise, before he even took office. That’s because his views and agenda are pro-growth. A year later, and we’re starting to see what the marriage of free-market ideology and policy can do for our nation’s economy.
As reported at the Wall Street Journal the US jobless rate fell to a 17-year low in October and employers hired at a strong pace, showing that despite the many serious hurricanes, the labor market is making strong gains.
Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 261,000 in October, a pickup from the prior month, the Labor Department said Friday. This resulted in the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level since December 2000, at just 4.1%.
Despite the hurricanes affects, the rate of jobs added over the last three months is about 162,000 a month. According to the Federal Reserve, which just had a meeting concerning short-term interest rates, the economy’s growth is strong. So much so that they may raise rates by the end of the year.
However, the downside is that wages remain stagnate, as they’ve been for years. Not only that, far too many people are underemployed or have dropped out of the labor force altogether. Thanks to our previous presidents’ policies, wages are still far below what should be expected based upon increased productivity. Instead of both rising together, workers have been taken advantage of, getting more done in less time, while being paid less than they should.
Inflation and relative purchasing power are also making it difficult for young professionals to do all the things their less educated parents were able to do at an earlier age, like buy a home and start a family. This is having negative effects on the economy and culture alike, and it doesn’t appear a remedy is on the horizon. That being said, this latest report is welcome news. However, the underlying problems with our nation’s labor market are still present and going unaddressed.
Source: Wall Street Journal