You may have seen that consumer confidence climbed to a 17–year high in October. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 125.9 in October from an upwardly revised 120.6 in September. That’s the best reading since December of 2000.
“Confidence remains high among consumers, and their expectations suggest the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace for the remainder of the year,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. On the market side, the DOW has gained nearly 6,000 points since the election of President Donald Trump.
Also, in October, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in more than 44.5 years – pointing to a rebound in job growth after a hurricane-related decline in employment in September, according to Lucia Mutikani. The labor market outlook was also bolstered by another report showing a measure of factory employment in the Mid-Atlantic region racing to a record high in October.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ending October 14, the lowest level since March 1973, according to the Labor Department.
Last week marked the 137th consecutive week that claims remained below the 300,000-threshold, which is associated with a robust labor market. The Labor market is near full employment with the jobless rate at a more than 16.5-year low of 4.2 percent, which does not consider individuals who have given up looking for a job.
The 4.2 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since 2000, and the biggest complaint among business leaders is a shortage of skilled workers to fill a record number of job openings. according to Market-watch. It is a shame that the education community is not training persons for the future. It seems they are more interested in training protestors than providing a profitable set of skills.
Stronger consumer sentiment has translated into increased spending in some pockets of the economy. Increased home values and a rising stock market have allowed individuals to buy goods that were foregone during the Obama recession.
Spending at U.S. retailers rebounded strongly last month, boosted by surging car sales and higher gasoline prices in the wake of the devastating hurricanes, according to the Commerce Department.
With all this good news from a much higher stock market to de-regulation and consumer confidence, one would think it might translate to higher poll numbers for President Trump, whose approval rating stays near the 40 percent level. Do Americans not give him credit for what’s happening or is it simply pure luck?
A recent CATO Institute poll may have come close to explaining why President Trump is not getting the credit he deserves. People are afraid. The CATO 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance, a national poll of 2,300 adults finds that 71 percent of Americans believe that political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have and 58 percent of Americans believe the political climate prevents them from sharing their own political beliefs. So when it comes to praising the president, 73 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of independents say they keep some political beliefs to themselves.
So what do people believe? Here is a small sample:
- 80 percent of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say illegal immigrants should be deported; only 35 percent of conservatives agree.
- 87 percent of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say women shouldn’t fight in military combat roles, while 4 percent of conservatives agree.
- 90 percent of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say homosexuality is a sin, while 4 percent of conservatives agree.
- 51 percent of staunch liberals say it’s “morally acceptable” to punch Nazis.
- 53 percent of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 51 percent of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns.
- 65 percent of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
In a very dangerous world, Americans need to come together and discuss their political views and differences. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case, as CATO polling found.
Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of Hillary Clinton’s voters agree that it’s “hard” to be friends with Donald Trump’s voters. However, only 34 percent of Trump’s voters feel the same way about Clinton’s. Instead, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Trump voters don’t think it’s hard to be friends with Clinton voters.