U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since 1969

Analysts say November’s election will be a referendum on President Trump’s policies

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. jobless rate dropped to 3.7% in September — reaching its lowest level since 1969, when young men were being drafted to fight in Vietnam and the American Auto Industry & Space Program were going full blast — after the economy added 134,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The jobless rate fell from 3.9% in August.

Net jobs created in July and August were also revised sharply upward, by a combined total of 87,000.

“This is the best job market in a generation or more,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at recruiting site Glassdoor.

The economy has added nearly 20 million people to the nation’s payrolls since 2008, reflecting an exuberant and growing economy driven by strong consumer and business spending. In fact, hiring is so strong that employers are having trouble filling openings and some are being forced to offer higher pay.

More broadly, through the first nine months of 2018, employers added an average of 211,000 workers to payrolls each month, well outpacing average monthly growth of 182,000 in 2017. That runs counter to economists’ expectation for hiring to broadly ease as the labor market tightens.

A month away from the midterm election, the low unemployment rate and strong economy is sure to be a prominent talking point for Republicans.

Many analysts have said the election will be a referendum on President Trump’s policies, and with unemployment near a half-century low, it is sure to be embraced by Republicans as proof he has delivered on his promises.

Unemployment rates below 4% are extremely rare in 70 years of modern record-keeping. The two longest sustained periods came during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, when the combination of strong growth and the enlistment of young males from the civilian labor force helped to largely wring unemployment out of the economy.

Despite the similar unemployment rates, today’s economy is vastly different from that of 1969:

  • Back then, 1/3rd of Americans worked in manufacturing; now it is barely 9%.
  • Strong economic growth in 1969 was propelled by huge government spending on the Vietnam War, as well as the newly created Great Society social programs.
  • And women were much less likely to work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that Hurricane Florence affected parts of the East Coast during the period that the government’s employment surveys were conducted. 

In September:

  • the Professional & Business Services sectors grew by 54,000 jobs
  • Transportation & Warehousing jobs increased by nearly 24,000
  • Construction by 23,000
  • Manufacturing by 18,000
  • Health Care by nearly 30,000, while
  • Retailers cut 20,000 jobs

Small business owners are leading this economy, and expressing optimism rivaling the highest levels in history. Expansion continues to be a priority for small businesses who show no signs of slowing as they anticipate more sales and better business conditions,” said National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) President & CEO Juanita Duggan (left,) recently.

Small business owners’ optimism hit a 35-year high over the summer, said NFIB, with businesses setting records in terms of job creation and hiring while citing the availability of qualified workers as their biggest challenge.

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Source: Texas Politics

U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since 1969

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