Biden Economy: Jobless Claims Rise by 23,000 to 230,000

Number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since mid-November, as 57% of poll respondents disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy.

QUICK FACTS:
  • the Department of Labor said Thursday that U.S. jobless claims climbed by 23,000 last week to 230,000, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
  • The four-week average rose nearly 6,300, to almost 211,000, as weekly job applications have risen in four of the last five weeks
  • 1.6 million people in total were collecting jobless aid the week that ended Jan 1, notes AP.
  • A poll conducted Jan 7–10 released Wednesday found more than half (53%) of all 1,313 adults surveyed disapprove of Biden’s job performance, 57% saying they disapproving of Biden’s handling of the economy.
Screenshot from The Associated Press taken January 13, 2022
SMALL BUSINESSES STRUGGLE:
  • Tracy Wallace, owner of Peacock Wine Bar in Gilbert, Arizona, said she still doesn’t know what times her business will be busy since reopening in September 2020, adding that her only choice during the pandemic’s surges has been to keep her business open as much as possible, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports.
  • “I’ve had to quit watching and thinking about it because it was giving me a lot of anxiety and I could never plan anything,” Wallace said, referring to the pandemic. “I had to just keep moving forward because otherwise I’ll just be stuck and not move anywhere.”
BACKGROUND:
  • A record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November, notes AP.
  • Although employers added a record 6.4 million jobs last year, that still wasn’t enough to make up for the 9.4 million jobs lost in 2020.
  • WSJ reports that workers are “staying on the sidelines of the labor market and quitting jobs at record levels, putting pressure on employers to raise wages and enhance benefits to attract workers.”