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John Carney

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The unemployment rate for African-Americans fell to the lowest level ever recorded in August, dropping from 6 percent to 5.5 percent.

One result: the persistent gap between white and black unemployment also narrowed to its smallest on record.

The unemployment ratio has averaged around 2 to 1 or so for decades, meaning the black unemployment rate is typically twice the white unemployment rate. In good times, the unemployment rate of whites and blacks falls but the gap remains. And in bad times, the unemployment rate for whites and black rises, but black unemployment typically remains around twice that of white employment.

A year ago, the black unemployment rate stood at 6.6 percent while the white unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, meaning black unemployment was 185 percent of white unemployment.

In August, the gap narrowed so that black unemployment was under 162 percent of white unemployment. That is the smallest gap ever in records going back to January 1972.

This is particularly remarkable because it comes at a time of remarkably low unemployment. Prior to the Trump era, the last time the gap fell below 170 percent was in August of 2009, when the black unemployment rate was 14.8 percent and the white unemployment rate was 8.9 percent. Back then the gap declined because white unemployment was increasing at a faster clip than the already sky-high black unemployment.

In other words, the decline in employment inequality now is undeniably the best on record because it comes in the context of falling unemployment.

Author: John Carney

Source: Breitbart: Black Unemployment Hits Record Low, Black-White Unemployment Gap Shrinks to Smallest Ever

President Donald said Friday that American companies are “hereby ordered” to start looking for alternatives to China.

Trump was responding to news overnight that China was hiking tariffs on U.S. goods. The Chinese move caught the White House by surprise, according to a person familiar with the matter. As late as Thursday evening, U.S. officials were talking up the potential for expected September talks between the U.S. and China to make progress.

Trump is meeting with U.S. trade officials in the White House Friday morning, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and trade advisor Peter Navarro.

Trump also struck a decidedly different tone about Chinese leader Xi Jinping, whom he normally describes in respectful and friendly terms. In a tweet, he asked “who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chiarman Xi?”

Trump also said China had not lived up to promises to stop fentanyl shipments to the U.S. As a result, he said he was ordering FedEx, Amazon, UPS , and the U.S. Post Office search for and destroy any fentanyl in shipments from China.

The legal basis for Trump’s orders was not immediately clear. Trump said he would make an official announcement about trade with China Friday afternoon. The “order” may be a warning to U.S. companies that tariffs are going much higher, making manufacturing in China for U.S. markets prohibitively expensive.

Author: John Carney

Source: Breitbart: Trump Orders U.S. Companies to Look for Alternatives to China

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy pace in the second quarter, slowing by less the economists had expected from earlier in the year amid multiple headwinds, including weaker global demand, higher mortgage rates, and uncertainties over trade policy.

Gross domestic product rose at a 2.1 percent annual rate from April through June, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Gross domestic product is a measure of all the goods and services produced in the U.S. after adjustments for seasonality and inflation.

Consumer spending was a source of strength for the economy, expanding at a 4.3 percent rate. Earlier in the year, consumer spending had slumped to a 0.9 percent growth rate. But the increase in consumer spending was offset by a decline in business investment. So-called nonresidential fixed investment fell at a 0.6 percent rate, down from a rise of 4.4 percent in the first quarter.

The U.S. economy has officially entered the longest expansion in its history, with GDP rising for 121 consecutive months. That is longer than the previous 120-month record set in the decade between 1991 to 2001.

Although the second quarter’s growth rate was slower than 3.1 percent in the first three months in the years, at 2.1 percent it was better than economists expected. According to Econoday, the median forecast was for 1.9 percent, with a range of 1.6 to 2.2 percent.

Even at the slower pace of the second quarter, the economy is still performing beyond what Federal Reserve economists see as its long-range potential. In March, the median projection of Fed officials was for 2.1 percent growth in 2019. If the second-quarter’s 2.1 percent pace holds up in subsequent revisions, the economy is almost certain to grow by more than forecast.

Author: John Carney

Source: Breitbart: U.S. Economy Grew at 2.1% Pace in Second Quarter, Better than Expected

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