The December Jobs Report Is Another Good One - US Economy Remains Remarkably Strong
GDP Growth 5.2%, Strongest Recovery in G7, Inflation Was Zero Last Month - Congratulations Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, December 8th - The December Bureau of Labor Statistics monthy jobs report has dropped and it’s another good one:
199,000 new jobs, unemployment rate drops from 3.9% to 3.7%. Both numbers beat expectations. With 1.3 jobs available per unemployed persons, and the prime age worker participation rate above pre-pandemic levels, the US continues to experience one of the strongest labor markets in modern American history.
Average hourly earnings were up 0.4% in October and 4.0% over the past 12 months. With inflation now at 3.2% over the past 12 months and zero this past month, real wage growth is firmly in positive territory. It should be noted that groceries have only risen by 2.1% over the last month, meaning that in real terms the prices of groceries have declined this year.
Despite enormous challenges - COVID, insurrection, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, global inflation, repeated OPEC price hikes, war in the Middle East - the performance of the American economy this year has been remarkable. GDP growth was 5.2% last quarter, and our recovery from COVID has been the strongest in the G7. Things were hard in recent years, but they are much better now. We are getting there.
With this new data our monthly jobs tracker clocks in at:
33.8m jobs - 16 years of Clinton, Obama
14.1m jobs - 34 months of Biden
1.9m jobs - 16 years of Bush, Bush and Trump
Biden's 14.1m jobs are more than 7 times as many jobs as were created in the 16 years of the last 3 Republican Presidencies, combined. Since 1989 and the end of the Cold War, the US has seen 50 million new jobs created. 48 million of those 50 million jobs - 96% - were created under Democratic Presidents. 2 million - 4% - were created under Republicans.
Let’s go to our monthly deep dive into data, charts and graphs!
And a few more in gallery format:
What this data tells us is that since this new age of globalization began in 1989, a modern and forward-looking Democratic Party has repeatedly seen strong economic growth on its watch. Republican Presidents, on the other hand, have overseen three consecutive recessions - the last two, severe. The contrast in performance here is very stark. It is not a stretch to state that the GOP’s economic track record over the past 30 years has been among the worst in the history of the United States.
Let’s drill down on Biden’s economic record a bit:
Best economic recovery from COVID in the G7
GDP growth was 5.2% in the third quarter (!!!!!) and has been on average 3% in Biden’s Presidency, 3 times higher than Trump. No recession on the horizon
Inflation continues to decline, coming in at 3.2% over the past year, and zero last month. Gas and energy prices continue to fall, dramatically, despite OPEC’s repeated efforts to keep energy prices high
Lowest unemployment rate in peacetime economy since WWII, jobs more plentiful today than any times since the 1960s. 7 times as many Biden jobs in 34 months as last 3 GOP Presidents combined over 16 years
The Dow is above 36,000 and only slightly below an all time high
Median wealth up 37% from 2020-2022; median wealth for 18-34 year olds in this period more than doubled
Lowest poverty and uninsured rates ever recorded
The Biden Administration has erased more than $130b in student debt
As of May, home ownership rates for Gen Z were above both Millennials and Gen X at this point in their lives
Many cities and states have raised the minimum wage in recent years, creating a much higher income floor for young and poorer workers
Domestic oil production is on track to set records in 2023, and we are making huge gains with non-carbon-based energy production
Biden’s ambitious investment agenda will create growth, innovation, opportunities for American workers for decades to come, and is already dramatically accelerating our energy transition from carbon-based fuels
The bottom line is that Democratic policies have repeatedly been able to make globalization work for the American people in this new and challenging age. GOP policies have repeatedly failed to deliver, as a national party Republicans have repeatedly failed to do their part.
It is a core belief here that the current radicalization of the GOP is intimately linked to its repeated failure to handle the challenges of the post-Cold War era. The rigid ideological approach of the modern GOP has left it unable to govern in a time of rapid change; and those repeated failures have left many Republicans angry, reactionary and willing to do the unthinkable to stay in or regain power. The modern GOP has no answers for many of the most important challenges America faces today, and rather than modernizing, and adapting, as all institutions must in a time of change, the GOP has decided to fight the future by trying to rig the system to remain in power while the country and its people drift from their narrow grasp.
This argument – about the success Democrats have achieved through modernization, and the failures of the GOP for their refusal to do so – is at the very core of my most important presentation, With Democrats Things Get Better. You can learn more and watch this 30 minute presentation here.
Finally, I believe our collective overarching message priority next year is to get into positive territory against the Republicans on the economy. I talk about why this is so important in a recent short take video. Given this strong track record going all the back to 1989 we shouldn’t be losing the economic debate to these guys. It is critical that we work together next year to establish this basic contrast:
Dems = growth, lower deficits, progress for workers and families
Rs = recession, higher deficits, American decline
As I recently posted here, the conversation about the economy in the US remains very red wavy - it is full of false right-wing narratives that are distorting our understanding of what’s happening here in our own country. The bottom line is that our economy is historically strong. Joe Biden has been a very good President. The country is much better off today. And there is a great deal of data to suggest that Americans are not as down on the economy and Biden as convention wisdom holds.
And if you don’t believe me, read this Economist cover story, "The lessons from America’s astonishing economic record. The world’s biggest economy is leaving its peers ever further in the dust,” or watch this video (below) of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria talking about the historic strength of the US economy right now:
I am proud of our country, our President and our Party. We need to be very loud in the coming months about all the good we’ve done. Our ability to win next year may very well depend on how successful we are in fighting this economic red wave and helping Americans come to a better understanding of how successful we all have been, together.
Keep working hard everyone - Simon