WASHINGTON –Today, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the third quarter GDP growth number for 2019. The Bureau found that real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.9% in the third quarter.
“Today’s report shows that the U.S. economy continues its steady growth in defiance of media skeptics calling for a recession,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Since President (Donald) Trump took office, wages have surged, unemployment has hit record lows, and poverty has fallen for all Americans, including the country’s most vulnerable.”
In the third quarter, U.S. consumer spending grew a healthy 2.9%, as American consumer confidence continued to buoy our country’s economic strength. Spending on durable goods led and jumped 7.6% from the second quarter. Business intellectual property investment rose 6.6%, signaling that American business will continue to lead the world with new ideas and inventions.
In September 2019, unemployment in the U.S. fell to 3.5%, hitting the lowest level in 50 years. The unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans and African Americans were also at record lows. The total numbers of employed Americans hit the highest level on record. Between 2017 and 2018, 2.3 million more Americans gained full-time, year-round employment, including 1.6 million women.
This has translated to higher incomes for average Americans. The Census Bureau reported in September that real median household income rose to more than $63,000 in 2018, the highest level in nearly two decades. Between 2017 and 2018, real median earnings of full-time, year-round workers rose 3.4% and 3.3% for men and women respectively. This good news tracks with Labor Department numbers, which marked more than a year of consecutive year-over-year hourly wage increases of 3% or higher. Before 2018, wage gains had not hit 3% since 2009.
The poverty rate has tumbled as well. In 2018, the poverty rate fell by 0.5% to the lowest level since 2001, as the growing economy lifted 1.7 million Americans out of poverty since just 2017. Disadvantaged groups such as Hispanic Americans and African Americans saw the largest poverty reductions. America’s children saw a 1.2 percentage points in poverty, while poverty for single mothers fell by 2.5 percentage points.