Nancy Pelosi, the first Italian-American woman to hold the job of Speaker of the House, promised she would help the workers under her Democratic watch. Well, for the workers' sake (and that's most of us) let's all hope she doesn't help too much because she just might ruin a terrific situation .
Employers stepped up hiring last month, boosting payrolls by a healthy 167,000 and keeping the unemployment rate steady at a still historically low 4.5 percent. Workers' wages grew briskly.
Indeed the employment rate and new job growth
even exceeded analysts' forecasts for a gain of around 115,000 and was the best showing since September.
As for the past two years, the years Republicans still controlled both houses of Congress,
For all of 2006, the nation's unemployment rate dropped to a six-year low of 4.6 percent as the economy added 1.8 million jobs. In 2005, the unemployment rate averaged 5.1 percent.
"Ah," promise the Democrats, "but we're going to help the workers by boosting their wages." But it happened in the past few years, all without government help.
Many employers showed not only a greater appetite to hire in December but also more willingness to boost compensation to workers.
Workers, many of whom had seen their paychecks eaten by inflation, saw wages grow robustly last month. Average hourly earnings jumped to $17.04, a sizable 0.5 percent rise from the prior month. Analysts were forecasting a more modest, 0.3 percent increase.
Over the last 12 months, wages grew by a strong 4.2 percent. That matched the annual gain registered in November and was exceeded only by a 4.3 percent annual increase in November 2000.
Realistically, there are forces that operate outside of the control of either party; others take longer to develop so sometimes neither party should take total credit or blame for any result. But again, let's all hope that the Democrats just don't mess up, interfere to much and ruin it for the American worker. That's not asking for too much, is it?