Week after week, indicators continue to show the economy is thriving. And it’s making a real impact on Americans. Just today, the U.S. Census Bureau announced median household income climbed to a record $61,372 in 2017, "as the strong economy lifted the fortunes of more Americans." The report also showed the U.S. poverty rate declining.
Here are a few more positive stories from this week:
Small Business Optimism
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its Small Business Optimism Index, which reached historic heights. “U.S. small business optimism surged to a record in August as the tax cuts and deregulation efforts of President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress led to more sales, hiring and investment,” noted CNBC.
In the report, small businesses expressed positive plans for hiring, capital spending, and business expansion as well.
Improving Job Market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, out yesterday, showed a spike in job openings, sending the number soaring to 6.94 million open jobs across the country. In July, the gap also increased between job seekers and open positions to 650,000.
According to the Wall Street Journal, since 2000, the number of open jobs had never exceeded the number of unemployed people—that is, until March of this year. It’s been that way every month since.
Another positive nugget tucked away in this survey: The number of Americans voluntarily quitting their jobs reached its highest level on record. This often means people feel better positioned to search for new opportunities: “The tight labor market is quickly causing workers to gain the confidence they need to quit their jobs,” said JPMorgan Chase economist Jesse Edgerton.
Looking Ahead: Tax Reform 2.0
The House is still working to keep this momentum going. Tomorrow, the House Ways and Means Committee will take up Tax Reform 2.0—a package of bills to build on the strong economic foundation established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These bills have three key parts: they make the TCJA’s individual and small business tax cuts permanent; they make changes to help Americans save for retirement; and they make it easier for start-up businesses to flourish.
The committee found that the first provision will create more than 1.5 million new jobs—continuing the job creation gains we’ve seen in the months since the first tax reform package became law. As Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said this week, “Under our new system, we’re seeing incredible job growth, bigger paychecks, and a tax code that works on behalf of families and American businesses. Now it’s the time to ensure we never let our tax code become so outdated again.”