Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Editorials

Another voice: Good news on the jobs front

Accompanied by the customary cautionary note about analysis based on one month's figures, June's job creation rate, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, should have provided Americans with a shaft of light Friday.

June produced a better-than-expected 222,000 new jobs, supplemented by an adjustment upward of 47,000 of April and May figures. Unemployment rose a tick, to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent, but that is still low. Average hourly wages were up 2.5 percent from a year ago. Labor-force participation rose slightly, to 62.8 percent from 62.7 percent, even as some employers complained of difficulty in filling jobs. Inflation, a key factor for poor and middle-class people in the face of generally stagnant wages, remains under 2 percent.

Although it is too early to claim a "Trump bump" upward in the economy, June's figures, coupled with a robust stock market, should be seen as positive and cause for hope.

There are still shoes waiting to drop and a considerable number of issues with unknown or potentially negative longer-term impact. One of these is the paralysis in Washington on some very important issues, some in areas where President Donald Trump as a candidate promised action. There is no agreed-upon budget. Raising the national debt limit above $20 trillion will be contentious. The direction America will go on health care remains tortuously tangled.

Tax reform is somewhere over the rainbow. The promised job-creating infrastructure bill is nowhere in sight.

Also on the negative side is a slowdown in auto sales and the fact that the spurt in new jobs seems to have resulted partly from growth in public-sector employment rather than in the manufacturing and retail sectors generally watched for signs of economic health. The long-term employment impact of Trump's policies on immigration and American participation in international trade pacts has yet to become visible.

All in all, however, the job figures released on July 7 look good. Americans need some good news right now.

Comments

Wednesday’s letters: How home rule can help fight Red Tide

Red Tide on march | Sept. 18How home rule can help fight Red TideAt the end of 2005, as Red Tide ravaged the beaches and intracoastal waterways of Southwest Florida, volunteers from the Suncoast Sierra Club formed a coastal task force to begin de...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Cartoons for Wednesday, Sept. 19

Cartoons for Wednesday, Sept. 19

Editorial cartoons from Times wires
Published: 09/18/18
Editorial: FDA acts to keep e-cigarettes from kids

Editorial: FDA acts to keep e-cigarettes from kids

The federal Food and Drug Administration is bringing important scrutiny to the increasing use of e-cigarettes, requiring companies that make and sell them to show they are keeping their products away from minors. Vaping is the new front in the nation...
Published: 09/18/18

Tuesday’s letters: Honor Flight restored my faith in America

Dogs are the best | Letter, Sept. 15Honor Flight restored my faith in AmericaJust as I was about to give up on our country due to divisiveness and and the divisions among its people and politicians, my pride was restored. As a member of the recen...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/18/18

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 18

From Times wires
Published: 09/17/18

Column: We’re measuring the economy all wrong

Ten years after the collapse of Lehman Bros., the official economic statistics — the ones that fill news stories, television shows and presidential tweets — say that the U.S. economy is fully recovered.The unemployment rate is lower tha...
Published: 09/17/18
Editorial: Senate should delay vote on Kavanaugh

Editorial: Senate should delay vote on Kavanaugh

The Senate and the nation needs to hear more about the sexual assault allegation against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Setting aside Kavanaugh's judicial record, his political past and the hyper-partisan divide over his nomination, a no...
Published: 09/17/18
Editorial: Tampa council has another chance to show it takes Stovall House changes seriously

Editorial: Tampa council has another chance to show it takes Stovall House changes seriously

The Tampa City Council has yet to hear a compelling reason to allow a private social club in a residential neighborhood off Bayshore Boulevard, and a final meeting on the matter scheduled for Thursday offers the council a chance to show the diligence...
Published: 09/14/18
Editorial: Focus on Hurricane Florence, not defending poor response in Puerto Rico

Editorial: Focus on Hurricane Florence, not defending poor response in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Florence began lashing down on the Carolinas Thursday and was expected to make landfall early Friday, washing over dunes, downing trees and power lines and putting some 10 million people in the path of a potentially catastrophic storm. Flor...
Published: 09/13/18
Editorial: Scott sends positive signal on Supreme Court appointments

Editorial: Scott sends positive signal on Supreme Court appointments

Gov. Rick Scott has headed down a dangerous path by announcing he has started the process to fill three upcoming vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court as he heads out the door. But to his credit, the governor indicated his "expectation’’ is that he ...
Published: 09/12/18
Updated: 09/14/18