Is Biden Saved? Democrats may have just received a political boost – the source: July’s job report.
“A blowout July jobs report showed a gain of 528,000 jobs, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” CNN reported. Economists had been expecting the US economy to add about 250,000 jobs for July. The actual gain was more than double expectations, however. “The employment growth was widespread across sectors, with leisure and hospitality seeing some of the biggest gains.”
Here is specifically where new jobs were added: Leisure and hospitality added 96,000 jobs; professional and business services added 89,000 jobs; health care added 70,000 jobs; government added 57,000 jobs; construction added 32,000 jobs; manufacturing added 30,000 jobs; retail trade added 22,000 jobs, and; transportation and warehousing added 21,000 jobs. However, employment in the service sector is still a staggering one million jobs below its pre-pandemic level. Still, the uptick in service jobs, “led by strong expansion in food and drinking places,” according to CNBC, is encouraging.
The labor market expansion helps quell “fears that a recession could be imminent,” the Washington Post reported.
Naturally, the job market expansion helped lower the unemployment rate. “The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5 percent,” the Washington Post reported, “reaching its lowest point since February 2020, tying for the lowest rate since 1969.”
July marks the 19th straight month in which the US economy has added jobs, which the Washington Post calls “a big political victory for President Biden and Democrats running for office this fall.” Biden needed a “win” somewhere. His popularity is historically bad – in large part due to economic factors, like generationally-high inflation.
Biden’s “public approval rating rose by one percentage point to 38% this week, the second week in a row of marginal improvement to the low ratings that have dominated the past year of his time in the White House,” Reuters reported. “Biden’s approval rating has been below 50% since August 2021 and has hovered around a record low of 36% since first hitting it in May, raising alarms his Democratic Party is on track to lose control of at least one chamber of Congress in the Nov.8 midterm election.”
Democrats are undoubtedly hoping that July’s job report will help their party improve their midterm election prospects. The sagging economy has had a huge downward influence on Biden’s popularity. “Biden’s popularity has suffered from a surge in inflation, which rose to a 40-year high in June at 9.1%, and fears that the U.S. economy is dipping into a recession.” Similarly, in June, the national average gas price exceeded $5.01 – a record high. But gas prices are trending downwards too, which bodes well for Democrats. “The steady decline in gas prices has been driven by multiple factors, including recession fears that have knocked down oil prices and the fact that some Americans cut back on driving when gas prices spiked above $5 a gallon, CNN reported.
Biden has not wasted any time leveraging the jobs report to his political advantage. Biden “said the unemployment rate falling to pre-pandemic lows was “the result of my economic plan” as the White House sought credit for surging jobs gains that bolstered the president’s insistence the nation has not fallen into recession,” Bloomberg reported.
“More people are working than at any point in American history,” Biden said. “That’s millions of families with the dignity and peace of mind that a paycheck provides. And it’s the result of my economic plan to build the economy from the bottom up and middle out.”
Still, the jobs boost is not all good-news; the job report “sent stock futures tumbling as analysts predicted that the robust job market would leave the Federal Reserve more likely to aggressively hike interest rates in September as the central bank tries to fight soaring inflation.” Regardless, the jobs report is something Democrats can and should tout for political advantage. Perhaps the jobs report, paired with a string of legislative victories, could help the Democrats avoid what could be a significant defeat in the upcoming midterms. Although, historical trends suggest the Democrats will lose in November. Stay tuned.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.