Opinion

This Labor Day, Workers Have Much to Celebrate

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Posted: Sep 02, 2019 12:27 PM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
This Labor Day, Workers Have Much to Celebrate

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Despite what the media might say, American workers are thriving under the Trump economy. Today, the unemployment rate of 3.7% is at its lowest since 1952. July marked the 17th straight month that the unemployment rate has been at or below 4%.

In addition, the number of long-term unemployed Americans is at its lowest since June 2007, and unemployment rates for minorities also remain at or near historic lows.

Over 5 million jobs have been created since President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, and today, job openings exceed the number of job seekers. The United States also has 3.2% wage growth. Wage growth has been at or above 3% for a year. In contrast, prior to this year, April 2009 was the last time wage growth had reached 3%.

These successes are largely due to the deregulatory and low tax policies of the Trump administration and the hard work of the American people. But there are additional pro-worker policies the Trump administration is advancing that you might not have heard about.

For example, at the Department of Labor, Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella and former Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta have released new rules to help the American worker. The Association Health Plans, for example, allow small businesses to join together to provide health care for their employees. Similarly, the Association Retirement Plans allow small businesses to join together to provide retirement benefits to their workers. About 38 million private sector workers don’t have a retirement plan through their employers, but this new rule will reduce that number.

The Department of Labor has also expanded apprenticeship opportunities so that workers can gain the skills they need to succeed. Advisor to the president, Ivanka Trump, is leading the Pledge to America’s Workers and has received at least 12 million commitments from over 300 companies to train American workers in just one year.

Not to be outdone, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao just released a new proposed rule through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to increase the safety and flexibility of American commercial truck drivers. This is a major win for an important part of the American economy. About seven million Americans work for the trucking industry. The proposed rule will also help American workers by reducing their costs by about $274 million.

Tax reform is another example of the president supporting American workers. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced the effective tax rates for all income groups. The TCJA reduced taxes by nearly doubling the standard deduction, increasing the Child Tax Credit, and reducing marginal tax rates. Tax reform also simplified taxes for many taxpayers due to the doubling of the standard deduction, which means they no longer have to deal with the paperwork of itemized deductions.

In addition, the TCJA lowered taxes for small businesses and corporations. This decrease in taxes for businesses has led to higher pay and benefits for workers and more jobs. In fact, the Tax Foundation estimates that the TCJA will create 339,000 jobs, raise wages by 1.5% and increase long-run GDP by 1.7%.

Thanks to these policies and the hard work of American workers, the United States GDP is an astounding $21.3 trillion dollars. This makes the United States the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP and the 8th largest economy by GDP per capita. The U.S. is known for its industrial sector, high-tech sector, financial sector, consumer market, and medical innovation. America is also the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas.

As a result, Americans have the highest average household disposable income per capita of the OECD countries. Americans also have the highest average household net worth of all of the OECD countries.

This Labor Day weekend, Americans should celebrate their successes with the knowledge that they have a president who supports them.