New Unemployment Report Debunks Trump/GOP Narrative


Unemployment claims plummeted last week, according to newly released data from the Labor Department. For the week that ended on November 20, new unemployment claims hit just 199,000 across the country as a whole — which is the lowest reported one-week total of new unemployment claims in decades (since November 1969, to be exact). The number also represents a new low for the pandemic period, finally getting the economy back below the level of about 220,000 new claims per week, where it sat before the virus arrived and broadly upended society. The lowering unemployment claims can be taken as a clear sign that the Biden administration’s handling of the economy is working.

The latest numbers also show an eighth straight week of lessening new unemployment claims, so the progress that’s being laid down is lasting. Back in January of this year, new unemployment claims temporarily surpassed 900,000 in a single week, and earlier in the pandemic, new claims went far higher — into the millions. Around this point last year, new claims were in the 700,000 range — well above where they’re at now. Trump and prominent allies of his self-confidently proclaimed that a Biden presidency would mean economic ruin for the United States, but that hasn’t happened.

Going forward, the Biden administration is keeping its weight behind a number of major lifts for the job market, including the bipartisan infrastructure deal that Biden recently signed into law. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently explained how the components of that deal include both “funding repairs that could begin almost immediately that mayors and states have been wanting to do for a long time” and “building cathedrals here in terms of some of the bridge replacements, or major projects of national significance, or airport terminals, or other things that are going to happen over the years thanks to this generational investment.” That, too, marks a stark turnaround from the Trump era, when the then-president repeatedly talked up the possibility of a major infrastructure bill but failed to actually get one done.