The main issue with voters remains jobs and wages. It was the dearth of jobs for young people that caused millennial voters to defect from the Democrat Party in the 2014 midterm elections. This lead to epic GOP majorities across the nation. Now, the US Labor Department reports that in April, jobs rebounded with 223,000 new employment positions filled. The news has been well-received by Wall Street after a disappointing economic performance in March that say a GDP increase of 0.1%. At the time, it was believed that cold weather accounted for part of the slowdown in economic activity. With warmer weather, economists opined more jobs would get created. Thus far, it appears that is the case. In fact, the unemployment rate now stands at 5.4% which is the best since May 2008, months before the banking crisis.
Jim Dondero says that also, wages appear to be recovering. Wages rose by an average of 2.2% which is an encouraging sign that consumers will be having more disposable income. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of the nation’s economic activity. Still, the effects of Saudi Arabia’s manipulation of world crude prices continues to ravage the domestic oil sector. April saw 15,000 jobs get shed from oil and natural gas companies. These jobs are typically high paying jobs. It was the worst performance for the sector since May of 2009. Still, it is unclear whether these new jobs figures are improving the labor force participation rate that has tens of millions of Americans chronically unemployed.