While Trump Economy Thrives, Black Friday Shoppers Go Looking for Deals

Data from October revealed that the U.S. economy seems to be creeping back after a difficult September.

In August, CNN Money reported that consumer and job reports were at record highs, with the unemployment rate then at 4.3 percent, a 16-year low.

However, as was expected by economists, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused a major economic downturn.

The natural disasters did significant damage to the tourism and hospitality industries of densely populated areas in Texas and Florida.

But the economy rebounded again in October, adding 261,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent, the lowest it has been since December 2000.

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President Donald Trump reacted to the jobs report Twitter, writing “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” in all capital letters.

Despite the addition of jobs and the low unemployment rate, hourly payment rates across the country are still climbing slowly, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting the average hourly wage across the country was $26.53 in October, down one penny since September and up just 11 cents since August.

With the Christmas season here, it has yet to be seen how shoppers will react to the economic news.

Early on Black Friday morning, The Western Journal visited the Wesfield Mall in Annapolis, Maryland, and spoke to people about their feelings heading into the Christmas shopping season.

One woman told The Journal she suspected changing trends in the retail landscape have caused a slump in the amount of people actually shopping on the traditionally hectic day after Thanksgiving.

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She noted that although the store appeared quiet, it was clear that shoppers had come out to Macy’s the night before to kick off their holiday spending spree.

“I think that the stores are offering a lot of bargains to try to get you to come into the store and I was really surprised how empty the parking lot is today,” she said.

“I’m never able to come out on Thanksgiving, but I know a lot of people do because some things were already sold out from last night.”

Another man The Journal spoke with expressed his concerns, stating that though things were “looking up” for him, consumer goods were still “too expensive” and cost more than he would like to pay, even on Black Friday.

Caterine DeCicco is The Western Journal’s Washington, D.C. video producer.