Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

... lowest jobless applications in 42 years'? How'd that happen?

From The Associated Press:

"WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid plunged last week to the lowest level in nearly 42 years, evidence that employers are holding onto their staffs and likely hiring at a steady pace.....

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 26,000 to 255,000, the lowest level since November 1973, the Labor Department said Thursday. If the data were adjusted for the growth of the U.S. population since then, last week's figure would likely be an all-time low...

With layoffs down, employers are also hiring more to meet greater demand for their goods and services. The economy added 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent.

The economy has gained nearly 3 million jobs in the past year. With that many more people earning paychecks, economists forecast that spending should pick up and help fuel growth for the rest of this year."

" ... lowest level in nearly 42 years" is a long time. We've also had 64 straight months of job growth, another large number and a record long stretch. And if you judge by Republican rhetoric, none of this can be happening. Between ObamaCare, slightly higher taxes on the richest of Americans and an EPA that actually attempts to protect the environment and address issues such as climate change, the national economy ought to be a smoldering pile of rubble about now.

Yet it is not. Once again, everything they predicted has proved wrong. Funny how often that happens.

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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.