Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the strong state of the economy—highlighting low unemployment and increased optimism among workers and businesses—and spoke about the workforce development agenda the House will keep moving forward to ensure workers are equipped with the skills needed to fill good jobs.      

Opening Statement:

“Remember just five months ago? Five months ago, Democrats were saying that tax reform would lead to literally ‘the end of the world.’ That’s an exact quote: This was going to be ‘the end of the world.’

“Don’t look now, but our economy is thriving.

“People are seeing more money in their paychecks, they’re seeing more money in their retirement accounts.

“Businesses are expanding and businesses are hiring. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 18 years.

“Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest level it has ever been. African-American unemployment is at the lowest level it has ever been. Wages are up.

“Americans are feeling more confident as well.

“There has been a surge in consumer confidence, a surge in housing confidence, small business optimism, and manufacturing optimism.

“Last week, I was in California’s Central Valley—up the road from Kevin—at a plant with David Valadao in his district.

“MEC: It’s a company that makes boom lifts and scissor lifts. It’s a classic small-town company making things right here in America. 

“MEC is on track to double their sales this year over last year.

“Already, they have awarded bonuses to all of their workers. They are now matching their 401(k) contributions. And they are planning on hiring more workers.

“This is the difference tax reform is making across the country.

“And tax reform is helping bring an end to years of economic uncertainty and stagnation.

“Now, we have got a lot more to do. Today, we’re taking action for more relief from burdensome regulations. That’s also a real tax on businesses and jobs and workers.

“We are working on reforms to get more people out of poverty and into the workforce. We need to make sure that workers have the right skills they need to get a job and a good career.

“Right now, our economy is thriving. Americans are right to feel good about how things are going. And we have not seen those kinds of optimism statistics in a long, long time.

“So we are going to keep pushing.

“We are going to keep pushing to close the skills gap, to close the opportunity gap, to make sure that all these jobs that are being made available are being filled with workers who are getting great careers and good lives, and going from poverty and welfare to work, so that they can find their own vision of the American idea.

“That is what our Better Way agenda was all about.

“It is what we are in the middle of executing and implementing right now. And we’re really excited to see the great economic news that comes as a result of all these things that we’ve been working on.”