Sunday, December 08, 2019

Donald Trump hails 'GREAT' jobs report as economy booms with 266,000 new jobs in November and 50-year low unemployment

Lots of good numbers

Donald Trump hailed a 'blowout' job creation record in November as the Labor Department said employment expanded by 266,000 in the month - blasting past economists' expectations.

Trump tweeted 'GREAT JOBS REPORT!' and the verdict of Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo, who has become one of his main media allies, that is was 'a blowout.'

Hiring in the United States jumped last month to its highest level since January as U.S. employers shrugged off global trade conflicts.

The unemployment rate declined to 3.5% from 3.6% in October, matching a half-century low, the Labor Department reported Friday. And wages rose a solid 3.1% in November compared with a year earlier.

Bartiromo called manufacturing a 'blowout,' with 54,000 new jobs, although 44,000 of those were GM workers returning from their strike; other surveys have shown manufacturing activity contracted in November.

The healthy job gain runs against a widespread view that businesses are struggling to find workers with unemployment so low.

Persistent hiring should help keep consumers spending - a key engine of growth as businesses have cut their investment spending and exports have stalled.

Monthly job growth has in fact accelerated since this summer, averaging 205,000 over the past three months, up from just 135,000 in July.

Steady hiring has helped reassure consumers that the economy is expanding and that their jobs and incomes remain secure, which, in turn, has helped fuel spending.

Consumer spending has become an even more important driver of growth because the Trump administration's trade conflicts have reduced exports and led many businesses to cut spending.

Employment growth was also boosted by a gain of 60,200 healthcare workers. That lifted job growth well above its monthly average of 180,000 this year.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising by 180,000 jobs in November.

The economy was also found to have created 41,000 more jobs in September and October than previously estimated.

The 40-day strike by about 46,000 workers at GM plants in Michigan and Kentucky restricted employment gains to 156,000 jobs in October.

Manufacturing activity contracted for a fourth straight month in November. The factory malaise has been blamed on the Trump administration's 17-month trade war with China, which has bruised business confidence and undercut capital expenditure.

Though Washington and Beijing are working on a 'phase one' trade deal, the United States has ratcheted up tensions with other trade partners including Brazil, Argentina and France. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States was having meetings and discussions with China 'that are going well.'

Economic growth estimates for the fourth quarter are converging around a 1.8% annualized rate. The economy grew at a 2.1% pace in the third quarter. Economists estimate the speed at which the economy can grow over a long period without igniting inflation at between 1.7% and 2%.

The surge in November payrolls defied an Institute for Supply Management survey showing a measure of manufacturing employment contracted in November for the fourth straight month. It also confounded the ADP National Employment report showing a sharp deceleration in private payrolls growth last month and consumers' perceptions of the labor market were less upbeat.

But cooler-than-normal temperatures in November curbed hiring at construction sites and mines.

Though the labor market remains resilient despite the business investment downturn, hiring has slowed from last year's average monthly gain of 223,000 because of ebbing demand and a shortage of workers.

Renewed concerns that trade will continue to hamper the U.S. economy drove stock prices lower earlier this week, after President Donald Trump said he was willing to wait until after the 2020 elections to strike a preliminary trade agreement with China.   

With the two sides still haggling, the administration is set to impose 15% tariffs on an additional $160 billion of Chinese imports beginning Dec. 15.

Both sides have since suggested that the negotiations are making progress, but there is still no sign of a resolution.

Hiring in the United States has remained mostly healthy this year despite the trade war. Even so, Trump's combative use of import taxes, combined with retaliatory tariffs by China and Europe, has stalled job growth in manufacturing.

Employers have been hiring at a solid enough pace to absorb new job seekers and to potentially lower the unemployment rate, though the pace of job growth is down from last year.

The holiday shopping season has begun later this year compared with previous years, a fact that some economists think might have delayed hiring by retailers and shipping firms last month.

With tariffs hobbling manufacturing, the job market this year has underscored a bifurcation in the economy: Service industries - finance, engineering, health care and the like - have been hiring at a solid pace, while manufacturers, miners and builders have been posting weak numbers.

Despite the raging trade tensions, most analysts say they remain hopeful about the economy and the job market.

The economy grew at a 2.1% annual rate in the July-September quarter, and the annual pace is thought to be slowing to roughly 1.5% to 2% in the final three months of the year - sluggish but far from recessionary.

Consumer confidence has slipped in recent months but remains at a decent level, helping boost sales of expensive purchases, such as autos and appliances.

With inflation surprisingly low, the Federal Reserve has cut its benchmark short-term interest rate three times this year.

Those rate cuts have helped support the housing market. Sales of existing homes have risen nearly 5% in the past year. Sales of new homes have soared by one-third. 



Impeachment Is Destroying CNN

If Democrats and their media allies thought that the impeachment of President Trump would be his undoing, I've got bad news for them: it's actually undoing them. The Democrats' favorite (fake) news channel CNN is suffering from a three-year low in ratings.

According to Disrn, CNN "reached a three-year low in ratings over the Thanksgiving holidays, averaging 643,000 primetime viewers. The news outlet also saw its worst week for viewers among the 25-43 demographic." In that group, CNN only pulled 138,000 viewers. That's pathetic.

Fox News, on the other hand, "posted higher ratings than CNN and MSNBC combined, averaging nearly 2.2 million viewers during primetime last week. The network also pulled in 303,000 viewers ages 25 to 54," which is the most important target group for advertisers.

In other words, Fox News is utterly and completely destroying the competition. Now, there's nothing new about that in itself, but what is new is CNN's complete and utter irrelevance in the news world. If you're thinking to yourself, "CNN? I never watch it!", you're not only talking for yourself but for just about every single American. There's literally just about nobody watching any of its programs -- let alone those scheduled outside of primetime.

How deep the once mighty have fallen. It's unbelievable. CNN was once an example to be followed. And now? Not one self-respecting real journalist, with ambition, would want to work for them.

There's just one way for CNN to turn this around. They've got to do something that hasn't been tried in decades. We have Fox News which is pro-Republican. We have MSNBC which is pro-Democrats. CNN's attempt to imitate MSNBC is destroying the channel. The way forward is for CNN to actually hire real journalists to -- and this is going to shock a lot of people -- do real journalism. Be proudly neutral. Don't air any shows by "commentators." Don't mix opinion with news. You bring the news, and that's it. When you have talk shows, you can invite guests who are not objective, but the presenter has to be absolutely, 100 percent neutral.

This is the only way for CNN to save themselves. If they don't choose this path going forward, they're doomed.



Impeachment Is Great for Trump: Approval Rating Rises to 52%

Thursday was a fantastic day for President Donald Trump. The reason? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment against him. While that may normally be less than great for a president, in Trump's case it's absolutely delightful. In recent days, his approval rating among American voters has risen to 52%. And it's all because of the impeachment sham.

Rasmussen Reports' daily presidential tracking poll for Thursday shows that 52% of likely U.S. voters approve of the president's job performance. Forty-seven percent, on the other hand, disapprove. That's a three-point improvement compared to Wednesday.

What's more, 52% is the highest daily approval rating measured in two months' time. As usual, his approval ratings are especially driven by men. Fifty-nine percent of men approve, only 40% disapprove.

As for minority support: the daily tracking poll shows 31% approval for President Trump among likely African American voters. With regards to all other minorities, 61% of them approve, while a mere 38% disapprove. Those are stunning numbers for a Republican president -- especially in this extremely partisan age.

It goes to show that this entire impeachment hoax has been an absolute disaster for Democrats. The American people see straight through their attempts to rid themselves of a duly elected president only because they disagree with his policies and dislike him personally.

A lot of voters may not like Trump personally either. But he did win the 2016 election. Americans understand that impeachment can and should only be used as a last resort and only against a president who has actually committed a crime. In the case of Trump, it's clear that although the man himself is not exactly "likable," there is not even a shred of evidence that he's guilty of any "high crimes and misdemeanors."

In other words, it's all a sham. And everybody knows it.

The result is, rather logically, that Trump's approval rating rises. Americans will always stand by those who are treated unfairly. It's in the American DNA.

So, for Trump, it would be great if this impeachment hoax continues for as long as possible. Let Democrats push this, day in, day out. The end result can only be a Trump reelection and a Republican Senate and House.




MEANWHILE... Trump's tax cuts reduce U.S. burden to one of the lowest in the world (Fox Business)

STRATEGY: How House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and his team tamed impeachment (Washington Examiner)

NOTHING TO SEE HERE: Mueller witness bragged about access to Clintons secured with illegal campaign cash, says Justice Department (Yahoo News)

MOVING TO THE LEFT: A sign of just how far left Democrats have moved under Trump: "Moderate" Joe Biden wants tax hikes twice as big as what Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016 (Reason)

FOX LAWSUIT: Playboy model Karen McDougal sues Fox News for defamation over alleged Trump affair (NBC News)

SEEKING COMMITMENTS: Texas Democrats urge Pelosi to press for border security as part of USMCA deal (National Review)

UPRISING: State Department Iran envoy calls protests "the worst political crisis the regime has faced in its 40 years" (National Review)

POLICY: We do not need to expand Social Security (National Review)


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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