Parsing through a dozen or so newspapers and websites this morning, I was stunned not to find a single reference to the very strong economic state of the union. Sure, there’s plenty about global warming, carbon caps, President Bush’s poor polling numbers, Republican opposition to the troop surge in Iraq, and the usual horse-race speculation about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic primary race for presidency. But there’s nothing -- and I mean nothing -- about the excellent economic state of the union.
I did manage to find one article, buried deep in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Class of ’07 Gets Plenty of Job Offers.” It talked about employers planning to hire 17 percent more graduates this year than they did last year. This happens to top the college-hiring peak of the last economic boom in 2000.
There’s also an interesting op-ed by Deputy Treasury Secretary Bob Kimmet (an old friend with lots of supply-side blood in his veins), who notes the positives of “job churn.” More than 55 million Americans, or four out of every ten workers, left their jobs in 2005. Since there were more than 57 million new hires that same year, this is good news. It also means that new hires exceeded employee separations by an average of 364,000 per month. Per month!
Eat your heart out Lou Dobbs.
The fact is, jobs continue to boom. So do real incomes, productivity, and profits. Economist Michael Darda points out that real wages over the first five years of the Bush expansion are actually growing more rapidly than over the first five years of the Papa Bush/Bill Clinton boom.
Meanwhile, unemployment today is only 4.5 percent. Federal, state, and local tax collections are soaring through the roof. Budget deficits are plunging. Inflation-adjusted GDP is averaging just more than 3 percent. Family wealth stands at a record of slightly more than $54 trillion. Total employment is at a record 146 million.
Stock markets, as you might have noticed, also continue to rise. They have done so, almost without interruption, for four years, on the shoulders of a remarkable surge in business profits -- which itself is a function of the high-tech, knowledge-based product explosion.