New jobless claims hit a low not seen since 1969

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'Americans are getting back to work,' President Joe Biden said.

The Department of Labor announced on Thursday that initial unemployment claims for the week ending March 19 had decreased by 28,000 from the previous week to 187,000. That figure is the lowest number of applications since 1969, and lower than at any time during the four-year presidency of former President Donald Trump.

"This morning, we learned that new unemployment claims are now at a level not seen since 1969. America's historic economic recovery is strong. Americans are getting back to work," President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter in response to the news.

The number of unemployment claims was below the 210,000 predicted by a Bloomberg survey of economists. Additionally, continuing claims for state unemployment benefits numbered 1.35 million, the lowest that figure has been since the 1970s.

During Trump's time in office, Republicans in Congress praised his leadership for levels of unemployment claims that were above those reported under Biden.

In May 2018, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy touted jobless claims for being at their "lowest level since 1973" and argued that the figure was evidence that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed under Republicans in 2017 was working. That policy significantly added to the national deficit, overwhelmingly benefitted large corporations, and failed to prevent an economic downturn after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) praised the level of jobless claims under Trump in April 2019, while Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) hailed "good economic news" in response to jobless claims reports in November 2017.

In contrast to their years of praise for Trump, as of this writing, Republican members of Congress were silent on the latest unemployment claims.

The report on jobless claims follows the release of the jobs report in early February that showed 467,000 jobs had been added to the economy in January, despite the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. That report revealed that job gains for November and December 2021 had been upwardly revised to 709,000 and that the unemployment rate is 4%.

The unemployment rate hit a five-year high of 14.7% in April 2020 when Trump was in office.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.