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Presidential Transition Issues to Watch: Economic Growth

This particular post is not all-conclusive about the Nation's economy heading into the Obama-Trump transition. However, it does serve to depict our current growth and what awaits the new administration. 

The most recent report from the US Labor Department reflects a solid job market that continues to grow 7.5 years after the Great Recession. Check out these numbers:

  • US employers added 156,000 jobs in December 2016, ending a year of slow, but steady hiring
  • Hourly pay went up 2.9% over one year's time, the biggest increase in over 7 years
  • Job growth averaged 180,000/month
  • The health care sector added 43,000 jobs
  • The manufacturing sector created 17,000 jobs
  • Restaurant and bars picked up 30,000 jobs
  • Transportation and warehousing companies created 15,000 jobs
Like in all economics, these behaviors can be traced to several causes:

For starters, more people started looking for work. The unemployment rate decreased to 9.2%, the lowest level since April 2008. Warehousing and transportation saw an uptick in hiring and employment demands largely due to holiday season shopping. Healthcare job growth continues to surge, mostly in hospitals and doctors' offices.

These employment numbers are strong, but they are not received without concern. 

Additionally, job availability is rising, but wages are not going up. Income stagnation can cause future economic issues. And, still, businesses are having difficulty finding diligent and qualified workers to fill vacancies. 

Yet, there are more people working now than at any point since the Recession.

This is the economy our 45th President will inherit. It is going strong and steady, but many economists (including this one) agree that manufacturing can be stronger. Desirable wage growth (and its subsequent impacts on inflation) will also be an issue awaiting Mr. Trump. 

An angle of the US Capitol under construction in 2015.


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GRAMMY nominated jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson was in the house.

Before I go any further, I must give kudos to Allyson and her band consisting of Miro Sprague (piano & Rhodes), Jeff Johnson (upright & electric bass), and Jerome Jennings (drums). They were great!

Allyson's clear voice and the band's musical prowess made for a top-quality performance. There is no room to doubt: everyone on the stage last night were professionals.

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This is the same Birdland that George Shearing wrote "Lullabye of Birdland" about and artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dexter Gordon, Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughan, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Amy Winehouse, Mel Torme, Erroll Garner, and Nikki Yanofsky later sang …