President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted that the “economy has never been better,” and that this is the “best point in history” for jobs, a claim that CBS News called “a stretch.”
Great financial numbers being announced on an almost daily basis. Economy has never been better, jobs at best point in history. Fixing our terrible Trade Deals is a priority-and going very well. Immigration on Merit Based System to take care of the companies coming back to U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
Trump said at a rally in Ohio on Saturday that “we have the greatest economy in the history of our country,” but despite improving economic growth and the lowest unemployment rate in 18 years, the economy has yet to reach the heights of the 1960s and 1990s.
The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in May, but is still above the rate just after World War II and at points in the 1960s. Economic growth is expanding at a rate of two to three percent annually, lower than the five percent annual growth in the 1960s and early 1970s. In May, average hourly wage earnings were increasing by a rate of 2.7 percent; in the 1990s, hourly wages grew at a rate of 5 percent.
CBS also notes that the number of people who have jobs or are looking for work fell in May to 62.7 percent, and that economist are unsure why. About 69 percent of men who are of working-age are currently working, far below the rates of the 1990s and 1960s, when about 75 percent and 80 percent of working-age men were working, respectively.
Middlebury College economics professor Erin Wolcott wrote in The Conversation last June that one-in-five men in the U.S. without a college degree are unemployed, while only one-in-ten men with one year of college are unemployed.
“All the blame goes to demand-side factors like trade and automation,” she notes. “It’s by and large not because they are choosing these over a job. Rather, sadly, it’s because they couldn’t find a job in the first place.”
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