Editorial: Growing economy defies Washington chaos
Don't be afraid to believe your eyes — the economic skies really are blue. The latest jobs report reveals an employment market at its strongest in 50 years and swelling consumer confidence.
That's a very bright picture, and a remarkable one given the political turmoil in Washington and President Donald Trump's constant tinkering with trade and tariffs.
And it is a direct contradiction to the gibberish coming from the Democratic presidential contenders, who want us to see the American economic system as desperately broken.
That's not what the numbers say. The United States added more than 266,000 jobs last month, according to Friday's report, bringing unemployment to 3.5%, the lowest in a half-century. Consumer confidence reached a 10-year high.
That good news kept the stock markets juiced. The Dow has set 12 record highs this year, and is resting at around the 28,000 mark.
More people working means more people spending, and that is good news for both corporate profits and job seekers.
And while Democratic presidential candidates are hoping to convince voters this ongoing expansion is benefiting only an elite few, that's just not true.
Prime-age workforce participation is at 82.8%, highest in a decade. Job attainment for women, minorities and disabled workers is rapidly expanding. Even for those without a high school degree, unemployment is at a 10-year low.
Since January 2017, 6.6 million jobs have been added to the U.S. employment market. And no, the unemployment rate didn't fall because people are working two or more jobs, as many of the Democratic candidates have opined. Fewer than 5% of Americans hold more than one job, and that percentage has held steady for a decade.
Let's face it; we're in the midst of a remarkable expansion that continues to defy predictions of a slowdown and the chaos in the Capitol.
We should be celebrating the economy, not bad-mouthing it. The consumer confidence jump is encouraging in that it suggests Americans are ignoring the gloomy distortions from the campaign trail and acting on their own experience. Their increased spending is convincing evidence they recognize they're doing better.
To make the 2020 election about the economy is a mistake. The economy is surging, and is lifting Americans at all income levels.
Imagine how much better it might be doing if our leaders could bring some stability to Washington.