Two years ago, the unemployment rate was 13.3%. Now it's 3.6%.
The Senate Republican caucus claimed Monday that the U.S. economy is in trouble today, but that in May 2020 it was booming under GOP control. This is demonstrably false.
"Two years ago, the U.S. economy was soaring. Today, Americans say they are concerned about the economy," the official Senate Republicans Twitter account posted, sharing an image of the words "In this economy, Americans feel stuck."
This is the latest example in the GOP's effort to rewrite the history of the past several years.
In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency on a promise to create 5% or 6% economic growth. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, he never came close to those goals — and once the virus started to spread, his economy tanked. Since defeating Trump in 2020, President Joe Biden has overseen a historic economic rebound.
Two years ago, in May 2020, much of the country and its economy were shut down due to Trump's botched handling of the coronavirus pandemic. As Trump lied to the nation about the severity of the problem and forced workers to continue to work in unsafe conditions, millions of Americans lost their jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in May 2020 was a stunning 13.3%, its highest level since the Great Depression. Trump left office in January 2021 having lost a net 3 million American jobs during his term.
Thanks in part to passage of Biden's American Rescue Plan, all of those net lost jobs and more have been added back to the economy. As of April, the unemployment rate was just 3.6%, the lowest point since the start of the pandemic, and Biden had added 8.3 million jobs to date.
While global food supply chains continue to be disrupted due to the pandemic and Russia's war in Ukraine, in May 2020 many Americans were unable to get meat, flour, disinfectants, and other supplies at their local grocery stores.
Childhood hunger was at historically high levels two years ago. A May 6, 2020, report released by the Brookings Institution noted, "it is clear that young children are experiencing food insecurity to an extent unprecedented in modern times."
Passage of Biden's relief plan, which included a one-year child tax cut and relief checks, had an immediate impact on hunger, and levels of food insecurity have continued to drop under the Biden administration.
The nation's gross domestic product has also increased significantly under Biden. In May 2020, it was $20.74 trillion; as of March 2022, it was up to $24.54 trillion, an increase of more than 18%.
What one economist called the "Biden boom" has exceeded Trump's missed growth goals. In the final quarter of 2021, America's real GDP increased by 6.9%, while the average GDP for the first year of Biden's term was 5.7%. Though Trump often falsely claimed to have created "the greatest economy in the HISTORY of America," he never achieved 4% growth for any quarter until late 2020, when the nation saw a partial rebound from the pandemic's 31% contraction.
While Republicans have blamed Biden for the current inflation rate of 8.5%, experts say it is mostly the result of global factors outside Biden's control — and Republicans have blocked his efforts to combat it.
Congressional Republicans frequently touted monthly jobs and unemployment figures at or below levels under Biden when they were reached under the Trump administration. But now that a Democratic president is in office, they are downplaying his economy and gaslighting the American public about Trump's.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.