To me, the most important question pertaining to the 2020 presidential race is not which hard-leftist the Democrats will nominate or whether, instead, they will nominate a 77 year-old who wasn’t bright even in his prime. Nor, we now know, is it anything to do with Robert Mueller. Rather, the most important question is what the economy will look like in the months before the election.
I don’t know the answer; I doubt anyone does. However, the signs continue to look good for President Trump and for America.
For example, last week the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to a nearly 50 year low. The Labor Department reported that initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 192,000 for the week ended April 13. That’s the lowest level since September 1969.
The four-week moving average of initial claims is considered a better measure of labor market trends because it irons out week-to-week volatility. That mark fell by 6,000 to 201,250 last week, the lowest since November 1969 when the American labor force was a little more than half its current size.
Hiring has actually slowed somewhat. However job gains remain above the level needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.
As for the unemployment rate, it’s at an astonishingly low 3.8 percent. Federal Reserve officials project that it will fall to 3.7 percent by the end of the year.
Reuters, though acknowledging the excellent job numbers, tries to depict an “unsettled” economy. “Fading stimulus from a $1.5 trillion tax cut package, the United States’ trade war with China, slowing global growth and uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union are casting a shadow,” Reuters informs us.
One can always find a shadow over the economy, but the job numbers suggest sustained strength in the economy. And with things going as well as they are, a mild slowdown would be unlikely to injure President Trump’s reelection prospects.