Labor market reaches almost 50-year unemployment low

May 3, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the latest jobs numbers:

“The Trump economy continued to roar ahead with 263,000 jobs created in April of 2019, 236,000 in the private sector.  The unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percent to an almost shocking 50 year low at 3.6 percent. When coupled with the just announced Q1 Gross Domestic Product estimate of 3.2 percent inflation-adjusted, annualized growth, the economy appears to have smooth sailing for the short-term future.

“But because our job is to also point out foreseeable headwinds, there are a number of yellow flags that popped up in the just released Labor Department report.

“First, at least a portion of the drop in the unemployment rate was directly related to a significant decline in the number of Americans in the workforce, and for the third month in a row, job growth in the very important manufacturing sector has been tepid to non-existent with only 12,000 manufacturing jobs created since February of 2019.

“These lag signs argue against Congress and the President becoming complacent in their handling of fiscal issues impacting our nation’s economic growth and indeed the continuation of the currently robust workforce.

“An example of an action which Congress should begin tackling and passing now is the U.S., Mexico, Canada trade deal that would replace NAFTA.  In a very modest estimate of the economic value of the USMCA, an International Trade Commission report found that the deal would add $68.2 billion to the U.S. economy and create 176,000 new jobs with manufacturing experiencing the ‘largest percentage gains in output, export, wages and employment…’

“Additionally, the rumblings that Congress is considering increasing gasoline taxes to pay for additional infrastructure spending would negate some of the wage gains that are finally being realized across the workforce. These wage gains along with the tax cuts the vast majority of people received have spurred the increases in consumer spending which many economists claim drove the GDP increase in the past quarter.

“President Trump’s agenda is working because it has unleashed the pent-up U.S. economy through a combination of tax and regulation cuts and better trade deals. Now Congress needs to work with President Trump to further support the U.S. economy.”

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