America’s first Black billionaire, BET founder Robert L. Johnson, says that Black Americans should be encouraged by the growing economy under President Trump. If African Americans put aside for a moment their opinion of Donald Trump’s words and actions and be perfectly honest, they’d see: From the East to the West Coast, the nation is experiencing good economic news.
The Dow continues to break records. Unemployment is down and Black unemployment, at 6.8 percent, is the lowest it’s been since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping such records.
Layoffs are down. Spending on capital goods is way up. Growth in the GDP is likely to top 3 percent. Businesses are raising wages, paying bonuses and announcing expansion plans. These stats are probably news to most, but that’s no surprise — there’s a conspiracy of silence to ensure no one gives President Donald Trump credit for the economic climb.
The economy grew at a rate of about 3 percent in past quarters. The more than 40 percent increase in the Dow Jones industrial average means a nearly $7 trillion jump in wealth. That has benefited the rich, yes, but every one of the 55 million Americans with a 401(k) plan, the 20 million with IRAs and the millions more with public and private pension plans have benefited, too.
“Unemployment for Blacks declined from 7.9 percent in December 2016 to 6.8 percent at the end of last year,” said Patrice Lee Onwuka of the Independent Women’s Forum. “Nearly half a million more black workers are employed compared to one year ago. This is a significant achievement. … Black women, who enjoy the highest labor participation rates among women in the labor force, made great strides as well. Some 246,000 Black women gained jobs over the past year. The unemployment rate among Black women fell from 7 percent to 5.8 percent.”
Fiat Chrysler announced it is moving an auto factory to Michigan with 2,500 jobs. After decades of outsourcing jobs from America, companies are creating jobs here. We’ve had similar announcements of worker bonuses or new hiring from Disney, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase and FedEx.
African Americans should put more emphasis on economics than politics.
“You have to take encouragement from what’s happening in the labor force and the job market,” Johnson said. “We’ve not had African-American unemployment this low and the spread between unemployment among Whites and African Americans narrowing as it is.”
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.