The Christmas season has barely started, but it’s already shaping up to be a merry one.
Americans are getting ready shell out more than $1 TRILLION – with a T – this holiday season for the FIRST TIME EVER!
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That’s an increase of 5.8 percent over last year and the biggest year-on-year growth since 2011, according to eMarketer.
“U.S. macroeconomic indicators, such as GDP growth, a strong labor market and positive consumer sentiment, are contributing to one of the best consumer discretionary spending environments in years,” the organization said.
Indeed, the economy is the strongest it’s been in generations, thanks in no small part to the pro-business, pro-worker policies of President Donald Trump.
The U.S. economy added 250,000 jobs in October, keeping unemployment at a 50-year low of 3.7 percent. These weren’t just low-wage jobs flipping burgers: Manufacturing is BACK in a big way, adding 32,000 jobs in October alone.
And remember: Those numbers are from BEFORE the annual seasonal hiring surge.
With so few people unemployed, retailers are fighting tooth-and-nail for who’s left as they look to add a record 700,000 seasonal workers for the busy shopping season.
That means anyone who wants a gig right now can find one: Target is adding 120,000 workers, while UPS and Amazon are adding 100,000 each, according to TheStreet.
For comparison, Amazon hired just 50,000 workers in 2012, while Target added 88,000.
“The demand for labor is as high as we’ve ever tracked,” Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, told TheStreet. “And the labor market is as tight as it was in 1969.”
And it’s not just the jobs that are up.
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A wage increase of 0.2 percent last month means salaries are up this year a robust 3.1 percent. And while a crash in oil prices is putting pressure on that particular industry, it means less pain in the pump as the cost of gasoline plunges.
“It’s going to put more money in consumers’ (pocketbooks) to spend on other goods and services,” economist Chris Lafakis of Moody’s analytics told USA Today.
Those pennies at the pump add up: The newspaper estimates that lower gas prices will save consumers $2.5 billion a month, and it couldn’t come at a better time of year.
Putting it all together, the nation has more jobs. Workers have more money not only from the increase in jobs but also higher salaries. They’re enjoying lower gas prices, and of course lower taxes, which allows them to keep more of the money they’ve earned.
It all adds up to one thing: Santa’s going to busy this year!
When more Americans having more income, they can buy more Christmas presents for each other.
That’s not just good for the old holiday spirit.
Who doesn’t love a present?
It’s even BETTER for the American economy, powered by workers who in turn become consumers who create more jobs by spending… and if the early seasonal numbers are any indication, this is going to be one for the record books in every way.
That’s one of the very best presents of all.
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Merry Christmas, Horn News readers!
— The Horn editorial team