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A Fond Farewell to 2014

December 30, 2014

The tail end of 2014 has been good from an economic perspective, and hopefully it keeps improving. Two things stand out to me – more people working and lower gas prices. When Americans work, our country thrives. The latest unemployment report indicates hiring is up, with 2014 on pace to be largest year for job growth since 1999. The U.S. appears to be recovering, with 2.6 million jobs added in the last 12 months.

 

The numbers yield hopeful signs. Wages increased, nearly 120,000 people are back in the workforce, and there are 177,000 less part-timers looking for full-time work.

 

But it’s not all roses.

 

There are 9.1 million people unemployed, and that’s still 1.9 million more than in November 2007, when the recession began. Plus, many of these latest jobs are seasonal. Will they exist after the holidays?

 

Still, people working is good, and hopefully it continues – especially since 98 percent of the new jobs are in the private sector. More good news is the decreasing price of oil, and we see that in lower gas prices. Wholesale oil prices have sunk, and gas is down to $2-and-change from $4! 

 

You could call it the “American Energy Revolution,” because of increased domestic production, but it’s capitalism at its best – supply dwarfs demand and prices are falling.

I like to think of it as a huge tax cut – to the tune of hundreds of billions in cost savings at the pump. It impacts the middle class most because they now have more to spend on other things.

 

It’s tough to argue against more Americans working and lower gas prices, so let’s enjoy it. One of the best parts is it took no government action – though they’ll probably take credit!

May it continue in 2015!

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