Labor Department reports jobless claims at lowest monthly average since 1969

August 31, 2018 by Ben Baird

Former President Barack Obama had Americans convinced that sluggish economic growth was the “new normal,” and nothing short of a “magic wand” could reverse these trends. Enter Republican President Donald Trump, and tax cuts, across-the-board deregulation and federal spending have supercharged the U.S. economy, contributing to record jobs expansion and what economists are certain will be the first full year of 3 percent GDP growth in well over a decade.

In yet another sign that Obama spoke too soon when he mocked Trump’s economic goals for America, the Labor Department is reporting that jobless claims are at their lowest monthly average since 1969.

Another economic milestone

Month by month, the Trump administration continues to exceed the forecasts of economists. When Trump called for more than 3 percent annual economic growth, the so-called experts said that “he’s dreaming.”

Obama’s chief economist argued that “it would require everything to go right … in ways that are … historically unparalleled,” while Edward Lazear, who served the same role for George W. Bush, advised Trump to “pray for luck.”

Without any arcane sorcery, Trump appears to be on the threshold of achieving this goal in the first full year of his administration. Yet, the same naysayers who called Trump’s predictions unachievable also admitted, “There’s no disagreement that a sustained growth rate of this magnitude would be a significant achievement.”

Today, these fiscal killjoys must be in hiding, because they certainly aren’t hailing the latest economic figures as a sign of Trump’s political genius. Even as the four-week moving average of jobless claims fell to its lowest level since December 1969, Democrats willfully disregard the record-setting economic progress going on around them.

Ignoring progress

In fact, the mainstream media even tried to boo-hoo the nearly 50-year-low of monthly jobless claims by focusing on the negative and ignoring the big picture. A report from Reuters pointed out that jobless claims actually rose during the last week of the month, even though unemployment claims just fell for three straight weeks before then, exceeding expectations and resulting in a monthly record.

“U.S. weekly jobless claims rise, labor market still tightening,” the pessimistic Reuters headline reads.

For the week ending on Aug. 25, initial state unemployment claims rose by 3,000 for a seasonally-adjusted 213,000 claims. Economists polled by Reuters predicted 214,000 total claims by that date.

However, when considering the more accurate four-week moving average of initial unemployment claims, figures actually fell by 1,500, resulting in 212,250 total claims — a 49 year low.

Perhaps most importantly, the latest unemployment outlook proves that Trump’s protectionist trade policies aren’t undoing the economic progress that his administration has worked so hard to achieve. After waging an escalating trade war with China, Canada, and the European Union, doomsday economists predicted that the tensions would undermine the recent progress from tax cuts and deregulation.

Americans of every class, color and creed continue to benefit from policies that leftists have long disputed as unhealthy for the economy. Week after week, as jobs figures are published and the stock market soars to amazing heights, Democrats will eventually be forced to reckon with their own failed policies and unsound predictions.