2018 as the ‘year of the worker’

That’s how Stephen Moore describes the previous year in a Washington Times column.

If 2017 was the year of the investor with stock market gains of more than 25 percent during President Trump’s first year in office, 2018 was undoubtedly the year of the American worker.

These past 12 months have slammed Wall Street hard with half of 2017’s stock blockbuster gains surrendered. But for now prosperity has rotated to Main Street USA, where things have rarely been better than in 2018.

The bears on Wall Street of the last few weeks have dominated the headlines, but those losses have obscured the steady bullish gains for workers. Not in the last 50 years has the jobs market been as strong as it is today.

Start with the fact that at 3.8 percent the unemployment rate is matching its low point of the last half-century. Almost half of the states in the union now have their lowest unemployment rates ever recorded by the Labor Department. The labor market is so attractive for workers today that America is literally running out of qualified workers to fill all the jobs.

The latest jobs report spotlights 7 million more job postings than workers available to fill them. That’s a bigger number than the entire population of Indiana. An all-time high 130 million Americans now have a job.

The black and Hispanic unemployment rates in October were lower in 2018 than they have been at any time since the day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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