Axios PM

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May 03, 2019

1 big thing: The great American economy

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Happy Friday: If you were born in 1970 or later, the U.S. unemployment rate has never been this low, and the economy added 263,000 jobs last month.

The big picture: "Payrolls have now risen for 104 quarters in a row, and the economy has created more than 20 million jobs since the Great Recession ended in 2009," the NYT notes.

Between the lines: "As good as the dip in the unemployment rate looks, the factors behind it aren’t as hopeful as the headline number itself."

  • "There was a big drop in the number of people who said they were looking for work. The labor-force participation rate, which measures the share of people 16 and older who are employed or seeking a job, fell to 62.8 percent, from 63 percent in March."

Bloomberg: "While some analysts labeled it a 'Goldilocks' report for being neither too hot nor too cold, traders maintained bets the Fed will lower rates by mid-2020, and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said he thinks the central bank will eventually make a reduction."

The bottom line, from economist Justin Wolfers:

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Images

A newborn flamingo at Rome Bioparco in Rome, Italy.

  • Five baby flamingos have been born in recent days, and several eggs still have to hatch.

2. What you missed

  1. President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for over an hour on the phone: Topics included the Mueller report, Venezuela, North Korea, and nuclear arms control.
  2. White House hopeful Jay Inslee's first carbon plan is here: It requires all U.S. electricity to be "carbon-neutral" by 2030 and mandates all new car and light truck sales to be zero-emissions vehicles by the same date. Go deeper.
  3. Federal judges deemed Ohio's congressional map unconstitutional in an unanimous decision today, ordering a revised map be drawn before the 2020 elections, AP reports.
  4. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has decided against inviting predecessor Travis Kalanick to join him on the New York Stock Exchange balcony during next Friday's bell-ringing ceremony.

3. 1 "Stiff" stat

A Pennsylvania man named Jarrett Stiff dodged 2,264 tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike over 5 years, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, and now he's facing the music.

Via the AP:

  • "The 36-year-old from suburban Philadelphia racked up nearly $128,000 in unpaid tolls and subsequent fines."
  • "In a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty in April to theft of services, was ordered to pay over $11,500 and was sentenced to five years’ probation."