by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democrats, now the majority in the House of Representatives, are trying to turn that body into the House of Resistance. They vowed to use the State of the Union to voice their claims that the nation is in bad shape, rigged to benefit only the rich. But facts are stubborn things.
Fact No. 1: An amazing 304,000 jobs were created in January, according to Labor Department data, up from an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018 and 182,000 in 2017. A steady upward march. Too bad President Donald Trump couldn’t invite all the new hires to attend his speech to show off the impact of Trumponomics on real people who have to put food on the table and make mortgage payments.
Fact No. 2: Even those who had given up hope of finding a job are re-entering the labor force. Employers are dropping requirements like college and prior experience. The labor participation rate for workers age 24 to 54 just hit its highest level since 2008.
January’s job gains outstripped predictions. Many economists conclude this steep upward trend should put an end to fears of a recession in 2019, despite a slowdown in other parts of the world.
Americans are taking home more pay, and that means they can spend more. It’s consumer spending that drives two-thirds of the economy.
Fact No. 3: Wages rose 3.2 percent over the last 12 months, the best yearly increase in a decade.