Last Friday, jobless claims reached a new milestone as they reached an almost 50 year low…
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, hitting its lowest level in more than 48 1/2 years, as the labor market continues to strengthen.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended July 14, the lowest reading since early December 1969, the Labor Department said. https://cnb.cx/2ObkJPN
This is great news, but could be at the summit with regards to economic growth? I know. Everyone said the same thing under Obama. We had reached the peak of economic growth and 3 or 4% GDP growth would never happen ever again. The GOP has proven that theory wrong. However, unlike under Obama, it’s the great economic news that is proving cause for concern. Irwin Stelzer explains
The next piece of good news to consider is the low 4 percent unemployment rate. But, it is so low it might place a limit on future growth. The president’s Council of Economic Advisers last week reported, “There simply aren’t enough unemployed workers in the current pool of those looking for work to match the growth in demand for new workers.” Many workers who have dropped out of the labor market simply do not have the skills to take on the available jobs, should they decide to give up benefits in favour of pay checks. And it does not pay any single employer to train them, as they might move on to other companies, which the rising quit rate—Take Your Job and Shove it, to use the technical term—suggests is a real possibility. In short, the economy cannot grow at the rate of this and the next few quarters unless employers can find skilled workers—or docile robots. Which would create its own problems. https://tws.io/2Lh0oKV
This economic limitation is compounded by our debt burden which is growing by the minute. Any economists will tell the dire future if we don’t get our fascination with debt under control. Nothing has changed with the Republican president in the White House. The GOP might talk a big game about shrinking the government payroll. Don’t be fooled by these smoke and mirrors. They are just moving the money from one side of the Potomac to the other…
Job growth across the region has been steady but unimpressive. The D.C. metropolitan area added 51,500 jobs in the one-year period that ended in June Unemployment rates have generally remained low: 5.6 percent in the District, 4.3 percent in Maryland and 3.2 percent in Virginia.
Federal employment in the D.C. area has shrunk by about 7,000 jobs over the past year — the largest decline of any job category — as the Trump administration has drawn down certain civilian agencies. The District was hit hardest by that decline, with about 4,200 federal jobs lost in the past year.
Northern Virginia added about 12,800 jobs in the one-year period that ended in June, about 5,700 of them coming in the professional and business services category that includes federal contractors. About 80 percent of the new jobs created here in the past year came in Northern Virginia, according to the Fuller Institute. https://wapo.st/2JOu0d4
Trump and the GOP might talk a big game about shrinking government but there’s not a lot of there, there. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a huge difference between government contractors and government employees. True, we might not be on the hook for their pensions but other than that they seem to cost and waste as much as the regular government branches. If we want to truly shrink government there is only one way to do it. Shrink the budget.