The last time the national unemployment rate was this low Philip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint” and Mario Puzzo’s “The Godfather” were the number one and two hottest selling books of the year, Peter Paul and Mary’s “Leaving On a Jet Plane,” probably on a 747–which made its first passenger flight that month–was the number one song (Nixon was president, after all), the first draft lottery was held to feed an eventual half million draftees to the Vietnam killing fields (18,000 of the 58,000 Americans killed were draftees) and CBS aired “Frosty the Snowman.”
It was December 1969, almost 50 years ago. The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, as it had been the previous month, though it would never be that low again–until April 2019: it never went below 5.3 percent during the Reagan years, and even the boom of the late Clinton years didn’t make it lower than 3.9 percent. President Trump gloated on Twitter this morning: “We can all agree that AMERICA is now #1.” (Actually, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Iceland and the Czech Republic, to name a few, all have unemployment rates lower than that of the United States.)
The economy added 263,000 net jobs in April, reducing the number of unemployed people to 5.8 million. There were 7.1 million job openings on the last business day of February, half a million openings fewer than the previous month, but still a number well ahead of the total number of unemployed persons. In one of the very few clouds in the month’s jobs report, openings decreased in a number of industries, with the largest decreases in accommodation and food services (-103,000), real estate and rental and leasing (-72,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-66,000). The number of job openings fell in the Northeast, South, and Midwest regions.
The number of people working part-time for economic reasons–that is, because they could not find full-time work or because their hours were cut back–totaled 4.7 million, an increase over March and February, but the number is roughly half where it was in 2009, as the nation was pulling out of the Great Recession.
Industries picking up jobs include construction (33,000), health care (27,000), social assistance (26,000), financial activities (12,000) and manufacturing (4,000). Retail lost 12,000 jobs.
Wages again increased: In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.77. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent, well exceeding the 1.6 percent rate of inflation, which means that the difference lifts the net standard of living. The year-over-year average hourly earnings have grown at or exceeded 3.0% for nine straight months. Wage growth has not risen this fast since 2009,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said in a statement.
“For 14 consecutive months, the unemployment rate has remained at or below 4.0% and this month included widespread good news: the unemployment rate reached record lows for Hispanic-Americans, Americans with disabilities, and Gulf War II veterans, and matched record lows for Asian Americans and all veterans,” he said.
“Because this is 2019 and everything immediately devolves into partisan warfare, these good results are immediately seized upon by Trump partisans who view the good news as a result of the president’s policies, and by opponents who give credit to the already-improving economy that President Obama handed over in January 2017,” The Time reported this morning. “There is truth in both. The job market had already been improving for years when President Trump took office, and its performance since then has been more continuation of the trend than an abrupt upturn.”
The unemployment rate has gone below its 1969 rate: in late 1952, and most of 1953, it was below 3 percent, bottoming out at 2.5 percent in June 1953, still the post-war low (and Japan’s current rate). The lowest unemployment in the West today is the Czech Republic’s 2 percent, followed by Switzerland at 2.4 percent.
Great numbers but how many jobs were “lost” during the same time period.? 😁
Sylvia Sullivan says
Thank you President Trump for your great leadership!!!!
Joanne Smith says
How can you keep bragging about this when these jobs are part time minimum wage with no benefits.
Brandon Cross says
Hey… want to bothers me?
Democrats want to claim a piece of this!!!
I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can tell the economic difference in the last 2 years and the 8 years previous????
Please, Please show me different????
Jobs numbers have been on the same trend since 2010, you can thank Obama.
1969 Job #s and 1969 wages. The only way to truly stimulate the Economy from the core is to pay people twice as much. Its the only way to inflate away our Debts. Otherwise the Rich keep getting richer and the masses left behind.The Stock Market does not affect the 80% who dont participate in it for one resson or another. SMH
Smoke and Mirrors says
In 1969 most households had one person working 40 hours a week. Now, most households have multiple people working, even the teenagers and seniors. You have to! There is an unprecedented difference in the cost of living versus wages, along with a ridiculous disproportion of wealth.
Yeah, way different from 1969. Just keep in mind the bigger it gets the harder it falls. 2009 will be like a walk in the park compared to the next bubble burst, unless there’s a radical change in spending behavior.
Do you really think these numbers are factual? Trump and his swamp creatures lie about everything. If the numbers where real would the Treasury be borrowing a Trillion $$$ every 6 months since Trump took office. Wilbur Mills puts out these numbers and he has never told the truth about anything in his entire life.
What’s funny is the Democrats are still whining. LOL
All the success that President Trump has had he has done on his own, without any help from the democrats. But what really stands out is the fact that it took a businessman, not a politician, to make America great again. So just what is it that the politicians have been doing for decades to better the lives of the average middle class American? Not much, not much at all. So what does all this tell us? Politicians are not working to make our lives better. A businessman has shown that ! Trump has shown the public that politicians are the problem and have not been working to make America and it’s people better. We must rid the political system of career politicians. We must have term limits for congressmen and senators. We must eliminate the position of career politician from the job market. Serving as an elected official is a civic duty, not a life style or career.
Traveling Rep says
I second that Downtown! Well stated.
MAGA! Trump 20/20
@Dtown I 100% agree with last half of post Have a MAGA Day
Siphoned Abonte says
America has the best economy it has seen in 25 years. The tide is turning on the hate for Trump as his approval rating on the economy goes to 56%. Highest of the last three administrations. Some Dems now are changing their narrative and supporting Trumps policies. Wait, I hear Biden stuttering making claims that the economy is suffering! WOW! Next ! On another note , where is RBG?
For those talking about how there was less people working in 1969, THE population is a HECK of a lot LARGER NOW, so how do you explain THAT? If Population GOES UP and unemployment rates go down. it means MORE PEOPLE ARE WORKING, which in turn MEANS MORE TAX INCOME for the country. So you do NOT have to raise taxes to raise income, you simply need MORE people to work, which is what we have NOW, but NOT when Barry was President.
Cant wait for the inevitable end to the Bull Mkt and pursuant Economic downturn, which is alot closer than one thinks, and read comments.Entertaining to say the least….
Jobs numbers were due strictly over the last decade by QUANTITATIVE EASING by Fed Board of Governors to first save Banks then bring back employment thru reinvestment in General Economy. Presidents Trump nor Obama were responsible..lmao get a clue
Katie Semore says
I can only shake my head in amazement at the stupidity shown in some of these comments.
@ siphoned….GDP growth in Trump’s 2 years are 2.2 and 2.9%..in 2014 and 2015 (under Obama) it was 2.5 and 2.9 %…this isn’t even the highest growth in 5 years never mind 25 years. It’s a deficit spending sugar high.