Change: A just-released IBD/TIPP Poll shows big gains in key sentiment indicators. Given the pervasive negativity in the media these days, you might doubt these positive polling numbers. If so, have you looked at the economy lately?
When it comes to President Trump and the national mood, something seems to have happened in recent weeks, as shown by our IBD/TIPP Poll of 900 people taken from July 26 to August 2. Keep in mind that anything over 50 is optimistic; under 50, pessimistic.
Start with our Presidential Leadership Index, which jumped 3.2% in August to 45.7, the highest level since President Trump’s first full month in office.
Equally important, the Direction of the Country Index, which gauges how Americans feel about our nation’s current course, surged 13% to 50.1 in August. That’s the highest level since 2005.
Then there’s our proprietary Quality of Life Index. It rose 7% for the month to 64.2. This is the highest ever, eclipsing the previous high of 63.1 set way back in 2004.
We could go on. But you get the idea. The poll-based indicators measuring how people feel about things have moved up sharply. Put simply, people feel better about the country than they have in years, even decades. Why? Look no farther than Friday’s jobs report — another sign the economy is firing on all cylinders.
The 157,000 rise in payrolls at U.S. businesses doesn’t sound so great until you realize that the two previous months were revised up by 59,000. We’ve averaged 215,000 new jobs a month this year, 224,000 in the last three months alone. Even manufacturing, long given up for dead, gained 37,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate slipped to 3.9%, just a tick above its modern 49-year-low of 3.8% set in May of this year.
As everyone knows, second quarter GDP rose at 4.1% — and will likely be revised upward in coming months. But economists are now busy revising their third quarter GDP growth estimates upward, based on a continued strong economy — and despite the ongoing tariff-trade skirmish between the U.S., China, Mexico, Canada and the EU. Even manufacturing, long given up for dead, gained 37,000 jobs.
We’ve had booms before. Why is this one different?
Media Ignore Minority Boom
Contrary to what the media tell you, this time those with low incomes and minorities are participating in the growth.
For instance, the jobless rate for those who lack a high school diploma is now at its lowest level ever. As for those who want to work full-time but can only find part-time work, their rate is the lowest since 2007 — the month the 2007-2008 economic crash began.
Latino and Hispanic workers’ unemployment rates stood at 4.5% — an all-time low. Meanwhile, at 6.6%, African-American unemployment now equals the third-lowest rate ever. Minority workers are participating in this boom as never before.
And all workers are seeing gains from working, with average hourly earnings rising a solid 2.7% for a second-straight month.
There’s one big reason for this: President Trump’s policies of tax cuts, deregulation and plentiful energy have revived the growth spirits of our economy. Some day, even our mainstream media friends will understand this fact.