How did you feel about the economy under President Barack Obama? The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment, a leading measurement of Americans’ expectations of the economy, hovered between 55 and 80 points throughout his time in the White House. A glance at the data suggested that the nation should have been optimistic, embracing his promises of hope and change: The recession was over, the economy was gradually expanding, the stock market was booming, and the Federal Reserve was accommodating. And yet, it usually felt as if the economy was always on the brink of another downturn. It feels different today, and that shows in the rising consumer confidence surveys.
Could it be that more Americans are enjoying the permanency of full-time employment instead of the perpetual urgency of part-time jobs?
Part-Time-Jobs Nation Be Gone?
Obama presided over an economy that produced both full- and part-time jobs. By the time he finished his two-term reign in the White House, full-time employment had matched 2008 levels. However, the former president’s policies also created an environment where part-time jobs skyrocketed following the recession. Because the Affordable Care Act penalized full-time work and incentivized part-time employment, you witnessed a dramatic surge in employees working fewer than 29 hours a week, despite the data showing they wanted to work longer.
President Donald Trump leads the country at a time when the overall economy is booming, and the labor market is the best it has ever been – even those who have quit the workforce want to return. In December 2019, after officially extending the winning streak of two million new jobs per year to nine, the number of full-time jobs reached an all-time high. Part-time jobs have plummeted to a decade low, and, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, this trend started when Trumponomics became the economic model in January 2017.
Despite Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claiming that hourly wages are not climbing, Americans’ earnings have been soaring. Over the last 12 months, average wages have gone up 2.9% and median wages have jumped 3.6%. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Wage Growth Tracker, Americans are making more money. The bottom 25% has seen its wages advance at a 4.5% clip, while the top 25% rose 2.9%. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey figures also show that median household income sat at $66,043 as of December 2019, an 8.3% gain in middle-class earnings. In just three years, Trumponomics eviscerated the eight-year performances of Obamanomics’ 1.7% and Bushonomics’ 0.7%.
Throughout the current boom phase of business, the United States has returned to being a full-time-jobs nation again. When there are approximately 1.4 million more jobs than unemployed people, you know you are living through one of the most fascinating economies of the industrial age.
It is anyone’s guess how much longer this party can last. Until the music dies and the alcohol runs dry, relish these good times. Eat, drink, and be merry – you know the rest of that adage.
Euphoria in Flyover Country
Liberty Nation’s National Columnist Sarah Cowgill, who has gone in-depth with the president’s Middle America base, says that agricultural and factory workers are not complaining about the results of Trumponomics. Despite flyover country bearing the brunt of Trump’s trade war, his die-hard supporters have still benefited from the euphoria experienced across the country.
“Farmers are satisfied around here, and manufacturing can’t hire people fast enough. If you want a job in flyover country, you can get a job. You’d be hard-pressed to hear agricultural producers or factory workers complain,” Cowgill said.
Of course, you hear only the typical progressive tropes on the 2020 campaign trail, from income inequality to stagnating wages. The data point to a completely different reality from the one Democrats are peddling. Their disdain for Trump has consumed their personal and professional lives for the last three years. All the left has are delusions of a nation that is on the cusp of destitution due to modest conservative public policy efforts that, as LN’s Tim Donner describes, “Let people keep more of their money and get out of the way.”
Read more from Andrew Moran.