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Economy booms as unemployment filings lowest since 1969

The American economy is expanding at a record rate and workers are the beneficiaries.

The Commerce Department today released a report showing the number of Americans filing unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in more than 48 years. Not since 1969 and the first moon landing have so few people filed for unemployment. An amazing fact considering that the nation has grown by 50 percent since that year.

President Trump had campaigned on a promise to put America back to work and jokingly said that Americans may “get tired of winning,” much to the derision of late-night TV comedians.

dwight widaman editor

By Dwight Widaman, Editor

They’re not laughing any longer. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, not far from the Federal Reserve’s forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year. The last time that happened was before the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

National Public Radio confirmed the support on April 2nd reporting, “Voters like Allen Cowan, a 50-year-old from West Virginia, might offer some clues. Cowan considers himself a socially liberal, fiscally conservative voter, the type of voter who reluctantly chose Donald Trump in 2016.

“I held my nose at the voting booth,” Cowan said. But, these days he’s satisfied with at least one aspect of the Trump era.

“Financially speaking, I cannot complain,” he said. “My retirement I have through my employer has shown a remarkable increase.”

NPR cannot argue with the facts. A second report from the Commerce Department showed the goods trade deficit fell 10.3 percent to $68.0 billion in March. Exports rose $3.4 billion to $140.1 billion last month, reflecting a strengthening global economy and contradicting political pundits and economists who had insisted the administration’s move to protect the American worker from unfair trade practices by China and others would hurt exports.

As news reports indicate that Trump’s tough talk on trade is working, the report says imports fell $4.4 billion to $208.1 billion in March.

Overall orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more, increased 2.6 percent in March as demand for transportation equipment rose 7.6 percent. That followed a 3.5 percent surge in durable goods orders in February.

Shipments of core capital goods declined 0.7 percent last month after a downwardly revised 1.0 percent increase in February. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government’s gross domestic product measurement.

They were previously reported to have jumped 1.4 percent in February. Business spending on equipment likely cooled in the first quarter after double-digit growth in the second half of 2017. The moderation in investment in equipment is expected to have combined with a sharp slowdown in consumer spending to hold back economic growth in the first quarter.

U.S. Treasury yields held at lower levels after the data. The dollar <.DXY> was weaker against a basket of currencies while U.S. stock index futures were trading higher.

The economy grew at a 2.9 percent pace in the fourth quarter and is set to surpass 3 percent later this year or early in Trump’s third year of the presidency. That is one of the strongest showings in the last 30 years. To compare, President Obama was the first president in history never to see a 3 percent growth in any of his years of leading the nation’s economy.

The economy is also expected to get a boost from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion income tax cut package as well as increased government spending.

The booming economy, fatter paychecks for the average American worker, and the first real peace talks with North Korea in 70 years, are seen as just some of the reason’s President Trump is now polling above 50 percent in popularity. At the same time in his presidency in 2010 President Obama was polling at only 46 percent approval.

Trump’s popularity with the American public is now seen as insulation from attacks by Democrats and calls for impeachment. That talk has dwindled considerably as the Mueller investigation has yet to find any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and the American people, in recent polling, are saying it is time to end the investigation and move the nation forward united behind a constitutionally elected president.

Political analysts are saying that Democrats who, just months ago, were seen as winning back the house in the fall, may fall well short of their goal and could actually hurt their party with continued attacks against a president who is delivering on his campaign promises.

–Dwight Widaman and wire services.