Today is President Donald Trump’s birthday, and the release of the Census Bureau’s Advance Retail Sales report for May, which shows the American economy continuing to flex its strength.
The May jobs report (released on June 1st) showed that unemployment has fallen to the lowest levels in 18 years; 3.8 percent. (RELATED: Breaking: Unemployment Rate Reaches 18-Year-Low). Broken down by race and gender, the unemployment rate is 3.5 percent for Whites, 5.9 percent for blacks 2.1 percent for Asians, and 4.9 percent for Hispanics, which are among the lowest rates on record for each group.
The biggest employment gains were in retail, healthcare, and construction. So strong are the employment figures that there are more job openings than unemployed persons, and employers say filling job vacancies is now their number one challenge.
Now, the Census report found that in May, American retailers saw their sales rise 0.8 percent from the month prior, to $502 billion, marking the single largest one-month jump since November. Previous growth figures from March and April were also revised upward.
Over the past year, retail sales have risen nearly six percent. While one expense that’s particularly mandatory is included in retail sales (gasoline), retail sales still grew 5 percent over the past year with gasoline excluded.
But most important of all, weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fell. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to 218,000 for the week ended June 9.
It looks like those tax cuts are working as intended.
Additionally, the number of people receiving benefits declined by 49,000 to 1.7 million this week. That’s the lowest level since 1973, which is especially impressive, given how the population today is massively higher than it was in 1973.
The economy is continuing to add jobs, and the next phase of expansion will likely result in higher wages. After all, the unemployment rate can only fall so low, and that pushes presses on wages are employers compete for a fixed amount of labor.
The Trump economy doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all, which is good news for every American.