Has the American economy ever been in better shape than it is today? The answer, frankly, is no.
Despite a slowing of the global economy (Japan, for instance, has just announced a $120 billion stimulus package), the American economy continues its robust growth. Two hundred sixty-six thousand new jobs were added in November, well above expectations, while the unemployment rate dropped back to September’s record-low 3.5 percent. With both September’s and October’s jobs numbers adjusted upwards, job growth has averaged 208,000 jobs for the last three months. It averaged 223,000 per month last year. We are now in the eleventh year of economic expansion—a record. The service sector, about 70 percent of GDP, is expanding briskly.
Wages are up 3.1 percent year-over-year, well above inflation, and “We’re Hiring” signs are increasingly seen around the country. There are currently about 7 million jobs open, but only about 6 million people available to fill them.
Meanwhile, in September, the country was a net oil exporter for the whole month. That’s the first time that has been the case since 1949. Rising oil exports have helped the trade deficit, which dropped 7.6 percent in October. Part of that drop, of course, is due to lower imports from China while the trade negotiations drag on. As American production continues to ramp up, the U.S. is now the world’s largest producer of oil and gas and will be a net exporter for the entire year of 2020.
Black and Hispanic unemployment are at or near record lows, and black approval of President Trump has been edging up. Hillary Clinton got 88 percent of the black vote in 2016, while Trump got 8 percent. If he can bring that up to 20 percent, it is very hard to see how the Democratic candidate, whoever he or she is, can win.
It’s tough to beat an incumbent in an economy like this one.