Beginning with the first lockdowns caused by COVID-19, the U.S. unemployment rate soared to new heights under the leadership of the twice-impeached ex-president who never won the popular vote. Nine months into the presidency of Joe Biden, the unemployment rate has finally begun seeing consistent drops, at this point three significant drops in a row, and has finally now hit a new low at 290,000 per week.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted. Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop. https://t.co/MZL9W2SZ2a
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 21, 2021
When Biden took office, those numbers were consistently high. In January, around 900,000 applied for benefits in one week. Republicans insisted that taking away the unemployment benefits that protected them and their most vulnerable family members would fix the problem, but so far that hasn’t happened. Americans who wanted to stay home with their children rather than sending them to school where they were vulnerable to being infected and bringing the virus home with them, older workers who wanted to remain in quarantine because of their own vulnerability, and those whose employers weren’t as accommodating of a mom’s schedule and responsibilities as students were sent home to quarantine because of exposure to the virus have had to weather a harsh economic blow. That appears to finally be looking up.
According to the Associated Press:
‘Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the fewest people to apply for benefits since March 14, 2020, when the pandemic intensified. Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily from about 900,000 in January.’
Despite the ex-president’s many promises to be “the greatest jobs president in history,” right now he stands as the president with the worst jobs record in history as a result of his massive failure to address the pandemic.
USA Today reports that:
‘More jobs were lost during the Trump administration than any other in history. Approximately 4 million fewer people were employed from January 2017 to September 2020, according to the most recent publicly available data.’
The non seasonally adjusted data with PUA claims included is also below 300,000 in this jobs report.
Big picture: hiring moving in the right direction with continued job growth and a strong economic recovery.
President Biden's economic strategy is working. https://t.co/7uBiZHFrlX
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) October 14, 2021
Even as those unemployment numbers fall, however, other indications show that employment rates are not rising in proper proportion. Considering the massive number of COVID cases experienced by Americans, a large number of workers are still sidelined due to “long COVID” and many of those Americans in the Boomer generation who were close to retirement when the pandemic began have not returned to work, leaving economists to wonder what long-term changes have been wrought by COVID-19.
‘Unemployment claims are increasingly returning to normal, but many other aspects of the job market haven’t yet done so. Hiring has slowed in the past two months, even as companies and other employers have posted a near-record number of open jobs. Officials such as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell had hoped more people would find work in September as schools reopened, easing child care constraints, and enhanced unemployment aid ended nationwide.
‘Yet so far, that hasn’t happened. Instead, some observers are starting to consider whether some of those who had jobs before the pandemic, and lost them, may have permanently stopped looking for work.’
BREAKING: A new pandemic low for unemployment claims under Biden’s recovery efforts. pic.twitter.com/3RkkIZ9VIT
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) October 21, 2021