Just a few weeks ago, I visited North Dakota and spent time with Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven and Gov. Doug Burgum. I heard their optimistic vision for your state’s future and similar thoughts on prospects from people in your communities. Like many Americans, North Dakotans recently sent in 2018 tax returns with lower tax rates, larger child tax credits, and higher standard deductions and it is a good time to highlight the opportunities that are growing from the Trump tax cut.
The president’s tax cut law sent a message to every business and every individual that this administration would unleash job growth by returning tax money to taxpayers. The message was received right after passage with many American workers realizing the benefits immediately. American workers received bonuses, wage increases, workforce investment, additional benefits, and more opportunities from firms as global as Walmart and as local as Gate City Bank.
Tax cuts are about job creation. Tax cuts mean job creators in North Dakota and around our nation, can hire more Americans. Tax cuts mean workers see their paychecks grow. Tax cuts mean new equipment that is safer for employees. Tax cuts mean more money to spend, save and invest. Tax cuts are a promise kept from President Trump to every family, to every job sector, to every job creator, and to every American working or looking for work.
The results speak for themselves. The economy has added 3.2 million jobs since the tax cut was signed. The unemployment rate is at 3.8% and has been at or below 4% for more than a year. The labor force participation rate hit the highest level since 2013. Wages have grown 3% year over year for the eighth month straight. The wages for the bottom 10% of wage earners is growing nearly twice as much as the average for all wage earners. We have set 20-year lows for layoffs and firings.
The U.S. economy never had a month where we had more open jobs than job seekers since 2000 when tracking started until this administration. Under the Trump Administration we have had more open jobs than job seekers for a full year. That is consistent with North Dakota and the approximately 30,000 open jobs while the state is graduating approximately 7,000 students from high school every year. An unemployment rate under 3% is only further evidence that North Dakota is an opportunity rich environment.
Tax cuts work. They work best when they work in conjunction with taking job-killing regulations off the books and having states open up the barriers to the workforce. In 2018, the Department of Labor saved Americans $3.3 billion in cutting red tape.
Tax cuts and deregulation have made American workers more productive and have added a dynamism to our labor market. Continuing that path as well as tackling labor issues such as occupational licensing, prisoner reentry into the workforce, and opioid recovery will be key. The Trump Administration will push for these policies as well as robust, skills-based workforce education and flexibility for families in Peace Garden State and those Americans from other regions of our nation looking for good, family-sustaining careers.