Roaring Economy Boosts American Workers
- Under Republicans, the American economy is expanding at its second fastest pace in 13 years, with 4.2 percent growth last quarter and the Atlanta Fed projecting 3.8 percent this quarter.
- Americans are getting back to work as a result – the economy has added 1.7 million jobs since Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
- Workers saw their disposable incomes grow 3.5 percent over last year, helping families keep more of their hard-earned money.
America’s economic success is giving workers the opportunity to find new and better jobs, boost their wages, and put more money in their pockets. GDP is on pace for its best two-quarter performance in four years. Unemployment has been at or below 4 percent for the past five months. The economy has created nearly 200,000 jobs per month over the past year and 1.7 million since the tax law was passed. Productivity increased by the highest amount in three years, which will help boost wages. Consumer confidence is the highest it’s been in 18 years. Incomes are up 3.5 percent. More Americans are entering the workforce – 147,000 per month on average this year. Disability rolls have dropped because more Americans choose to work instead of take benefits. In short, the economy is doing very, very well.
THE GOOD NEWS
Unemployment at 3.9 percent. The unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, and it has remained at or below 4 percent for the past five months. The last time the economy sustained such low unemployment rates was 2000 – and before that it was the late 1960s. A competitive labor market accompanies this low unemployment. The number of Americans claiming unemployment insurance is at a near-half-century low, suggesting fewer people are being laid off.
Job creation is strong and steady. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law, the economy has created 1.7 million new jobs. Job creation in America is consistent and strong, with almost 200,000 new jobs per month over the past year. Americans are more confident about their job prospects, as shown by the 147,000 people who have entered or re-entered the labor force on average each month this year. It is a good time to be looking for a job, with more open jobs than unemployed people looking for work.
Incomes up 3.5 percent. Americans’ real disposable income is up 3.5 percent over last year. American families are seeing more money in their pockets, thanks to both rising wages and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In 2017, even before tax reform, median household income rose to a record $61,372. Americans are able to save more for retirement, put more money in their child’s college fund, buy a home, or start a business.
GDP 2nd highest in 13 years. GDP growth hit 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018. The Atlanta Fed predicts third quarter growth of 3.8 percent. It would be only the second time in 13 years that the U.S. has seen GDP growth this high in two consecutive quarters.
Worker productivity highest since 2015. Worker productivity grew at a 2.9 percent annualized rate in the second quarter of 2018. More investment in training and technology helps raise productivity, and more productivity helps boost wages.
Disability rolls drop as Americans find work. Americans receiving Social Security disability payments declined by more than 300,000 since the peak in September 2014. New applications in 2017 were at their lowest level since 2002. It is expected the decline in enrollment will add four years to the program’s life. This shows how a strong economy and job market are good for workers and good for Social Security as well.
Consumer confidence at 18-year high. Consumer confidence in the United States soared in August to an 18-year high, reflecting surging growth in the economy and the lowest unemployment rate in almost two decades.
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