Rising wages, falling unemployment, job expansion: Today’s Booming Economy
by Sen. Tim Scott | May 17, 2018 7:14 pm
Last Updated: May 17, 2018 at 9:06 pm
Every day, we are seeing more and more great news about the current economic expansion in America; a trend that is breaking records and exciting economists and citizens alike. This is currently the third-longest economic expansion since 1854, and on track to be the second-longest on record. After a strong jobs report was released last Friday for the month of April, we should not only celebrate all of the exciting components of our booming economy, but also look forward to the continuation of this growth and success.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, historic tax reform passed last December, gets much of the credit for the most recent economic upswing. And for good reason! Unemployment continues to fall, and we are seeing the lowest national unemployment rate (3.9%) that we’ve seen in 17 years. African-American unemployment is also at its lowest since 1972 – more than four decades ago. Similarly, job expansion continues, with more than 800,000 new jobs added since the passage of the tax reform and more than one million Americans of working age re-entering the work force in the past two years. In response, wages are on the rise as well. Because of the tax reform, millions of Americans have seen increased benefits, higher wages and bonuses.
Looking forward, I am hopeful that economic prosperity will reach every corner of our country, especially those places that are economically distressed and have often been left behind in other periods of economic boom. My Investing in Opportunity Act, part of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, aims to bring opportunity to exactly those types of communities, not only in South Carolina, but across the nation. The IIOA creates an avenue for the more than $2 trillion in unused capital gains in our nation to flow into designated “Opportunity Zones.”
“Opportunity Zones” are chosen by each state’s governor, and composed of low-income communities in that state. Without creating another government program, or utilizing federal dollars, this new model has the potential to revitalize and bring opportunity to distressed communities all across America. More specifically, this initiative aims to bring jobs to these areas by tapping into their unused labor forces- continuing the trend of job expansion we have already been seeing. The IIOA has gained recognition as a key part to the next phase of economic expansion, with its strong emphasis on expanding the labor force- starting by using the untapped resources already in each community across the country.
With rising wages, falling unemployment and job expansion unlike we have seen in years, there are many reasons to be excited about today’s economy- and with the passage of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December and its components like the IIOA, there are even more reasons to be excited about the economy of tomorrow.