Economy

The Green New Deal Threatens to Derail Colorado’s Economy

Oil and gas rigs have been popping up all across Colorado in recent years, as have jobs working the rigs. Colorado’s total oil production is valued at more than $9.9 billion for 2018—an estimated 62 percent higher than 2017, according to the University of Colorado Boulder’s most recent study of the state’s economy. The value of the state’s natural gas production in 2018 was estimated at $5.3 billion. Employment in the Colorado oil and gas industry has grown by more than 23 percent since 2016, now accounting for around 25,700 jobs. This year it is expected to grow another 4.8 percent. But now, the Green New Deal, proposed Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), is threatening the state’s energy boom. The plan calls for the U.S. to completely abandon the use of fossil fuels over the next ten years. That would not just derail Colorado’s natural resource and mining sector but also the many businesses and jobs that have grown up to serve the energy boom. “Unexpected economic and political factors can change the trajectory of Colorado’s NRM employment outlook abruptly,” the University of Colorado Boulder study warned. Across the United States, the Green New Deal could threaten such extreme economic disruption that it could put into play states once considered safe for Democrats. That is especially true of Colorado, which accounts for almost 5 percent of the total crude oil produced in the United States and has far more to lose from the Green New Deal than places like New York and Massachusetts. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won 48.1 percent of Colorado’s votes. Donald Trump won just 43.1 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson took 5.1 percent. A Democrat candidate who embraced a plan that would certainly eliminate 25,000 oil and gas extraction jobs and likely another untold number of jobs indirectly related to the sector could create a political, as well as an economic, earthquake. Of course, the Green New Deal would also create jobs, according to its proponents. But while Colorado’s oil and natural gas jobs cannot be located outside of the state, there is no guarantee the new green jobs would be created there. Making matters worse, wind and solar energy farms can be operated with a far thinner workforce, which means that even if the Green New Deal’s new energy were produced in Colorado, it would employ far fewer workers. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) is reportedly considering a presidential bid. This puts him in a political bind: support the Green New Deal program popular with the base of the national party or stand by his state’s economic interest. His office did not respond to a request for comment. Although natural resource drilling and mining employ just 1 percent of the Colorado workforce, the sector pulls above its weight calls in economic impact because the jobs generate some of the highest per worker income levels in the state. Average pay in the sector is 146 percent of the state average. The damage will go beyond just oil and natural gas. Coal jobs too would be killed off. According to a 2015 National Mining Association survey, the coal industry contributed $1.9 billion to Colorado’s economy and directly employed 3,723 workers, plus 12,977 indirect and induced jobs. In the United States, factories that produce equipment for mining and drilling have boomed in recent years on the backs of the technological innovations that have made the U.S. one of the world’s largest energy producers. These factories and the investments in them would go to waste in a Green New Deal that made fossil fuels obsolete or illegal. Investment in Colorado’s traditional energy sector would dry up. Whether investors burned by a government that turned against fossil fuels would willingly support investment in Green-New-Deal-favored energy projects is a risk—and certainly a risk for Colorado’s economy. Ocasio-Cortez portrays the Green New Deal as offering Americans a tremendous opportunity. And no doubt a new national program of green investment, subsidized by cheap government financing, would create many new wealthy entrepreneurs. But it also threatens jobs that Americans already have and depend upon for their livelihoods. Colorado, because it has such a high concentration of good jobs extracting fossil fuels, is one of the states that would be hit the hardest.

Agreed..  Thanks to John Carney for that sobering analysis.  All of us who are tax-paying voters here in the great state of Colorado need to keep this in mind in November of next year when we go to the polls..

Promises Kept: Trump Economy on Track to Create 25 Million Jobs Over 10 Years

Back in 2016 when Donald Trump declared in a speech at the New York Economic Club that his economic plan would create 25 million new jobs over the next decade, many economists scoffed. After years of economic expansion, even a sluggish one, the idea that the economy could add the 208,000 jobs each month needed to hit that goal struck many as far-fetched. Many thought we would be lucky if job creation kept up with population growth, creating around 90,000 jobs per month. But the economy is outperforming expectations–and helping President Trump fulfill his job promise. The economy created an average of 223,000 per month in 2018. And with January’s mammoth 304,000 non-farm payroll gain, the three-month moving average hit 241,000 jobs. During the course two years of the Trump presidency, the economy has added 4,879,000 jobs. That puts Trump just 121,000 jobs behind being exactly on target to create 25 million jobs over 10 years, a 2.48 percent gap. As January’s numbers demonstrated, that could be made up in a single month.

You cannot argue with the numbers.  No matter what the dominantly liberal mainstream media tells you, or how they try to spin it, the Trump economy has been on fire.    🙂

Data: Foreign Workers See 4X the Job Growth of Americans in January

Foreign-born workers are continuing to make significant employment gains over native-born American workers, the latest federal job data reveals. For the month of January, foreign-born workers increased their labor participation rate year-to-year nearly nine times as much as native-born Americans. Likewise, foreign workers enjoyed nearly four times the job growth in January as American workers. While the foreign worker population increased about 3.4 percent year-to-year, the American worker population increased less than 0.9 percent over the same period. Even in unemployment data, foreign-born workers are vastly outpacing American workers. For January, foreign-born workers saw their unemployment rate drop 4.46 percent compared to this time last year. For native-born American workers, the unemployment rated dropped, but at a much slower pace, with a year-to-year decrease of about 2.22 percent. Though President Trump campaigned to decrease overall illegal and legal immigration to the U.S., regulatory curbs to immigration laws have not actually reduced the number of legal immigrants arriving in the country every year. About 1.5 million foreign nationals arrive in the U.S. annually, as well as the 1.5 million foreign workers occupying high-paying, white-collar American jobs at any given time. In December, November, October, and September of last year, foreign-born workers continuously made larger gains over American citizens in monthly employment and unemployment totals. While legal immigrants continued being admitted to the U.S. to take blue-collar working-class jobs and many white-collar, high-paying jobs, there remains 6.5 million Americans who are unemployed, 12.9 percent of whom are teenagers, and 6.8 percent of whom are black Americans. Overall, about remain about 1.3 million U.S. workers have been jobless for at least 27 weeks, accounting for about 19 percent of the unemployed population. Roughly 5.1 million workers are working part-time but want full-time jobs, and 1.6 million workers want a job, including 426,000 workers who are discouraged by their job prospects.

Labor Force Participation at Trump-Era High of 63.2% in January

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 304,000 jobs last month, higher than analysts were expecting. The number of employed Americans, 156,694,000, was slightly below last month’s record (156,945,000), and the unemployment rate increased a tenth of a point to 4.0 percent. But the labor force participation rate increased a tenth of a point to 63.2 percent — the highest it’s been on President Trump’s watch. In January, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 258,239,000 (lower than it was last month). Of those, 163,229,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one. The 163,229,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 63.2 percent of the 258,239,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population.

Manufacturing Production Soared in December

Production at American factories boomed in December. Output at U.S. factories grew 1.1 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Economists had expected industrial production to be flat to barely rising. Compared with a year ago, industrial production rose 4 percent in December. Vehicle production jumped 4.7 percent in the month, boosted by demand for light trucks. Compared with a year ago, vehicle production is up 7.8 percent. Construction supplies production rose 1.6 percent. Business equipment production was up 0.5 percent, which is a good indicator that U.S. businesses continued to invest in expansion despite the rocky performance of the stock market in December. For the year, this is up 5.0 percent. Factory output accounts for about 75 percent of overall industrial output, which rose 0.3 percent for the month. That was in line with the forecast. On an annual basis, total industrial production rose 4.0 percent, much higher than 2.9 percent in 2017 and 2016’s paltry 0.5 percent gain. Mining production rose 1.5 percent, a sharp and unexpected increase. Production at utilities fell 6.3 percent, likely because December was unseasonably warm in much of the country. Capacity utilization, which measures actual production against what factories could potentially produce, rose by 0.1 percent to 78.7 percent. Economists had predicted a slight decline. The jump in factory output indicates that tariffs on steel and aluminum are not weighing on the U.S. as much as critics claimed they would. And the new tariffs on Chinese products, combined with tax cuts, appear to be encouraging domestic manufacturers to expand production. The December industrial production numbers indicate that earlier anecdotal reports and surveys that suggested a manufacturing slowdown were offbase.

No kidding!  More great news in this Trump economy!       🙂

Prices Fell in December, Tariffs Are Not Pushing U.S. Prices Higher

Prices fell in December, indicating U.S. businesses are not passing on the costs of tariffs to consumers. The Labor Department said Wednesday that its Producer Price Index fell in December. Compared with the month, prices were down 0.2 percent. Economists had forecast a slight price gain for the month. The index for final demand goods–which are those most likely to translate into consumer prices–moved down 0.4 percent in December, the same as in November. Food prices rose. Absent food and energy, final demand prices rose 0.2 percent. One reason for the very tame inflation data is the steep drop in the price of oil. Absent the volatile food and energy categories, prices of goods fell just 0.1 percent. Gasoline prices fell 13.1 percent in December and overall final demand energy prices dropped 5.4 percent. Inflationary pressures have been easing. Producer prices advanced 0.1 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October. On an unadjusted basis, prices were up 2.5 percent compared with December 2017. That is a move down from the year-over-year price gain of 2.7 percent recorded in November and it matches what was recorded in December of last year. In other words, the December price gains were no higher than what was recorded before the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel, aluminum, and China imports were imposed. Price levels have held remarkably steady on most categories of goods in 2018, defying predictions that American households would be squeezed by tariffs on steel, aluminum, and around $250 billion of goods made in China. On Monday, China’s commerce ministry announced that it ran a trade surplus with the U.S. last year that was the highest on record. The U.S. collected around $8 billion in tariffs in the October through December period, around 83 percent more than the period a year prior. Price increases are more noticeable lower down in the production chain of materials and components that go into making final goods, although recent data show that rise has moderated or reversed. Steel mill products, for example, fell 0.6 percent for the month but were up 18.5 compared with a year ago. Prices of materials used in durables manufacturing—which are those most likely to be affected by the tariffs on steel and aluminum—fell 0.2 percent on a monthly basis, the third consecutive monthly declined.

Opinion/Analysis: How the Trump economic miracle shatters the left

The Trump economy is firing on all cylinders, which means only one thing: The left is petrified. Last week brought economic news so good that it sent the Democrats and their fellow travelers in the Resistance Media into full bury-then-ignore mode. Their pathological hatred of the president blocks them from reporting the truth about the booming economy he is delivering, lest it make him look good (heaven forbid) and help him politically (a fate worse than death). They also know that since it’s always “the economy, Stupid,” they’d be damaging his potential 2020 opponent, which must be avoided at all costs. Given the dazzling December economic data, it’s no wonder the press gave it short shrift. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added a whopping 312,000 jobs, far more than the expected 176,000. After revisions, job gains have averaged an impressive 254,000 per month over the past three months. Job growth in 2018 (an average of 220,000 per month) passed that of both 2016 (195,000) and 2017 (182,000). Payrolls increased by 2.6 million in 2018, the highest since 2015. The sunny jobs picture encouraged 419,000 new workers to enter the workforce and sent the labor force participation rate up to 63.1 percent. Unemployment rates among blacks, Latinos and women are at or near historic lows. Job growth has also meant significant wage growth. Wages are up a stunning 3.2 percent from last year and .4 percent from November. December was the third straight month that the yearlong growth in nominal average hourly earnings was above 3 percent in nearly a decade; the last time we saw that trend was April 2009. Wages are also being given an assist by inflation being kept in check. The jobs boom is being felt across most major sectors: Construction (a reliable indicator of economic growth) added 38,000 jobs in December and saw a total of 280,000 new jobs in 2018. Retail added 24,000 jobs in December, with 92,000 for the year. Health care jobs increased by 50,000 last month and by 346,000 for the year. And perhaps the most politically and economically important of them all: Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in December and a stunning 284,000 new jobs in 2018. That represents an increase of 12 percent over 2017, and a major achievement for Mr. Trump. During the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the only sector that experienced consistently expanding job growth was government. At the same time, he presided over the net loss of 210,000 manufacturing jobs. In mid-2016, Mr. Obama was asked about the loss of those jobs, and candidate Trump’s promise to bring them back. “Well, how exactly are you going to do that?” Mr. Obama asked. “What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it. “He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that?” Mr. Obama continued. “What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.” Turns out Mr. Trump did have an answer. It was to ratchet down the globalism Mr. Obama and his fellow elites insisted was inevitable and move to put America — its workers, taxpayers, industries and interests — first. Mr. Trump’s “magic wand” was simple economic common sense: Pro-growth policies of tax cuts, widespread deregulation, unleashing the energy sector and renegotiating trade policies that had long decimated American manufacturing (another thing the elites told us couldn’t be done). During the campaign, Mr. Trump’s economic agenda was roundly derided and dismissed as unfair and unworkable by Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton and countless other ruling class overlords. They knew that Mr. Trump mustn’t be allowed to win the presidency, for they knew that if these policies were to take root, they would work. The economy would grow, jobs would return, manufacturing would boom, international trading partners that had long taken advantage of the United States would begin negotiating, prosperity would reappear and yes, America would be made great again. This they could not abide, which explains at least in part their dark, frantic machinations to prevent his election, and post-November 2016, to hobble his ability to govern effectively. His astounding economic track record is their worst nightmare. It puts the lie to the nonsense Mr. Obama, the Democrats and the media have been shoveling for years: That anemic economic growth, high unemployment, the collapse of manufacturing and grotesque trade imbalances were the “new normal.” It also pointedly demonstrates that the statist vision — radical wealth redistribution, socialized medicine, green energy chimeras, social justice enforcement, limits on free speech, private property and gun ownership, and the rule of the leftist mob — creates only tyranny, poverty, injustice and servitude. (Note the deflection: These are things the left claims to want to eradicate.) Mr. Trump and his economic thunderbolt are exposing the left and its policies as irredeemably bankrupt, economically and morally. And that is perhaps the biggest reason why they must try to destroy him.

Agreed..  Thanks to Dr. Monica Crowley for that spot-on op-ed.     🙂