Tuesday, June 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
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but it’s also suppression

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Monday to allow Ohio’s purging of its voter rolls is difficult to dispute legally. While federal law prohibits removing citizens from voter rolls simply because they haven’t voted, Ohio’s purge is slightly different. T...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to ride for free?This fall, the TECO Streetcar Line eliminates its $2.50-a-ride-fare, providing the best opportunity yet to see whether the system’s vintage streetcar replicas can serve as a legitimate transportation a...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

A good way to guarantee you’ll be wrong about something is to predict the future of technology. As in, "One day, we’ll all …" Experts can hazard guesses about artificial intelligence, driverless cars or the death of cable television, but technologica...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

The Florida Department of Children and Families has correctly set a quick deadline for Hillsborough County’s main child welfare provider to correct its foster care program. For too long the same story has played out, where troubled teens who need fos...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

This fall voters will have 13 constitutional amendments to wade through on the ballot, but Amendment 4 should get special focus. It represents a rare opportunity to rectify a grievous provision in the Florida Constitution, which permanently revokes t...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18