POTUS Joe Biden Photo by Adam Schultz
POTUS Joe Biden Photo by Adam Schultz

President Biden lays out how well the economy is doing, and what his plans are to continue to improve it. But the economy still isn’t quite where it was pre-pandemic.

On Friday, President Biden announced that the United States created 850,000 jobs in the month of June, which is much higher than the estimated 706,000. The unemployment rate is now at 5.9% according to the June jobs report

“We’ve now created over 3 million jobs as it took office. More jobs that have ever been created in the first five months of any presidency in modern history, thanks to the incredible work of the entire team,” said Biden. 

The President added, “This is historic progress, pulling our economy out of the worst crisis in 100 years. Driven in part by our dramatic progress in vaccinating our nation, and beating back the pandemic, as well as other elements of the American rescue plan.” 

According to Biden, the U.S. is the only major advanced economy, where the OECD projections of a future output are “higher today than they were in January 2020 before the pandemic hit.” He also noted that America was ranked first in Bloomberg’s COVID resilience ranking. 

He credits this success to his American Rescue Plan. In February the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the 2021 economic growth would be 3.7%, however yesterday it doubled to 7.4%. “Our economy is on the move,” said Biden. 

Biden stated that his American rescue plan provided resources to get “shots in people’s arms and checks in people’s pockets.” He argued that because schools were struggling to reopen, his administration made it a priority to vaccinate teachers.

“Just in the month of March we added 364,000 education jobs and roles,” expressed Biden. 

Because of the effect, the pandemic had on small businesses and restaurants Biden stated that his administration delivered the loans and support they needed to reopen and to remain open. 

The President announced that this morning he learned that jobs in hard-hit sectors such as restaurants, hotels, and amusement parks were up by 343,000 last month, which is over 1.5 million in the past five months. 

Biden also took the time to talk about the Child Care Tax Credit that will help families with children across America starting this month.

“Families are going to receive one of the largest ever single-year tax cuts that middle-class families have ever received,” said Biden. 

The President explained that if you’re an American who has paid taxes and had a good income, you could deduct $2,000 per child. Because of the American rescue plan, a parent will receive $3,600 for each child under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children that are between the ages of 6 and 17.

This payment will be made to families on the 15th of every month from now to the end of the year. 

However, as many argue that childcare is one of the main reasons many parents are unable to get back to the workforce, Biden announced that his administration is delivering $39 billion to help childcare providers “serve more families to help parents, particularly women get back to work,” said Biden. Last month, the economy added about 25,000 childcare jobs. 

The President also addressed the infrastructure package that will, “Create jobs, repair roads and bridges, replace 100% of our nation’s lead waterpipes, making our power grid more reliable, deliver high-speed internet to every American home rural and urban.”

He added, “We’re going to put people to work building a nationwide electric vehicle charging network, transitioning from diesel school buses and transit buses to electric buses and bringing in world-class rail service to more Americans by reducing and in the process reduce our carbon footprint.”  

Biden stressed that the economy is, “On track, and we’re on the right track. Our plan is working.”

No doubt that the economy is slowly but surely getting back on track, but let’s look at areas the economy still needs some improvement according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The unemployment rate of 5.9%, which was higher than the 5.6% estimate, is much lower than the high rates in April of 2020. However, the unemployment rate still remains well above its levels prior to the pandemic, where it was at 3.5% in February 2020.

As of right now, unemployment for white Americans is at 5.2%, 9.2% for Blacks, 5.8% for Asians, and 7.4% for Hispanics. 

In June, the number of long-term unemployed increased by 233,000 to 4.0 million, following a decline of 431,000 in May. This amount is 2.9 million higher than in February of 2020.

The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.6% in June and has remained within a range of 61.4% to 61.7% since June of 2020. The participation rate is 1.7% points lower than in February 2020. 

The employment-population ratio, which is at 58%, was also unchanged in June. However, it is up by 0.6% since December 2020. This amount however is still 3.1% points below what it was in February 2020.

In June there were notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, retail trade, and other services.

Last month, employment inleisure and hospitality increased by 343,000. Over half of the job gain was in food services and drinking places by 194,000. Employment also continued to increase in accommodation by 75,000 and in arts, entertainment, and recreation by 74,000. Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 12.9%, from its level in February 2020.

In June, employment increased by 155,000 in local government education, in state government education by 75,000, and in private education by 39,000. Since February 2020, employment is down by 414,000 in local government education, down by 168,000 in state government education, and down by 255,000 in private education.

Last month, employment in professional and business services increased by 72,000 but is still down by 633,000 since February of 2020. In June, employment increased in temporary help services by 33,000, advertising and related services by 8,000, scientific research and development services by 7,000, and legal services by 6,000.

Retail trade added a total of 67,000 jobs in June, however, employment is still down by 1.9% since February 2020. Last month, job growth increased in clothing and clothing accessories stores by 28,000, general merchandise stores by 25,000, miscellaneous store retailers by 13,000, and automobile dealers by 8,000 were partially offset by losses in food and beverage stores which was down by 13,000 and health and personal care stores down by 7,000.

The other services industry added 56,000 jobs last month, with an increase in personal and laundry services by 29,000, in membership associations and organizations by 18,000, and in repair and maintenance by 9,000. However, employment in other services is still 297,000 lower than in February of 2020.

So as we continue to move forward and build back our economy, we see there is still work to be done. 

Jaala Brown

Jaala Brown is Gen Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today.