President Joe Biden spent much of 2020 promising that things would be better under his administration. Republicans knew those were empty campaign promises, but fence-sitters and Democrats bought them — and now they’re paying for it.
Biden and his supporters just got a nasty shock when the Department of Labor announced on Thursday that the job market unexpectedly collapsed last week, with jobless claims rising by 13,000 to 861,000 instead of falling as they were projected to do.
So much for Biden’s glowing promises to “build back better.”
Economists had expected claims to fall to 768,00 from the 793,000 initially reported for the prior week. The previous week’s figure was revised up by 55,000 to 848,000.
Jobless claims can be volatile week to week so economists like to look at the four-week average. This fell to 833,250, 3,500 below the prior week’s average.
Even when the economy is creating a lot of demand for workers, many businesses will shed employees as they adjust to market conditions. But in a high-pressure labor market, those employees quickly find jobs and many never show up on the employment rolls. What appears to be happening now is that many workers who lose their jobs cannot quickly find replacement work and are forced to apply for benefits.
These job numbers shouldn’t actually come as a surprise, however, because one of Biden’s first actions after taking office was to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline, destroying thousands of jobs with the swipe of a pen.
Layoffs and jobless claims were already at all-time highs due to the effects of the pandemic, but Biden’s executive actions haven’t helped the situation.
The first few weeks of Biden’s presidency have been rife with GOP-led “I-told-you-so’s” as Biden reversed dozens of Trump policies and even several of his own campaign promises — but this one comes with a bitter aftertaste as economic recovery shows signs of slowing despite the fading pandemic, a situation no one wanted no matter who resides in the White House.