For the first time
since March the unemployment rate is below 6 percent. Widespread
evidence suggests this economic growth -- now at four consecutive
months -- will continue throughout 2004 and probably 2005.
October's job numbers were revised upwards to137, 000 from
126,000. While November's initial reports of 57,000 new jobs will
likely see a similar revision, the most significant news is that
the unemployment rate has dropped below 6 percent, to 5.9
The latest job
report also shows important gains in the area where no improvement
has been seen before: Unemployment is down for African Americans,
women and teenagers.
investment has grown significantly in the last six months and
at the especially brisk pace of 14 percent in the last three
months. This means businesses are investing in new equipment and
activity is strong for both manufacturing and service sectors.
Manufacturing activity is at its highest levels in 20 years and the
service sector is soaring; which is significant because it accounts
for 80 percent of the economy.
productivity growth soared at 9.4
percent in the Third Quarter - growth not seen in 20 years. (For
more see Strong
Economic Growth Continues by Rea S. Hederman, Jr.)