Unemployment claims lowest since pandemic began as GOP says Biden is 'failing'

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The number of initial unemployment claims dropped to 473,000 last week.

Days after Republicans claimed President Joe Biden's economic "policies are failing," unemployment data released Thursday by the Department of Labor shows jobless claims dropped to just 473,000 last week.

The figure, down from 507,000 the previous week, is the lowest number of initial unemployment claims since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal. By comparison, in April 2020, initial claims topped 3 million each week.

"There's a lot of demand there. We will start to see more hiring," Jay Denton, a labor analyst for ThinkWhy, told the Journal.

These numbers come after congressional Republicans spent the past week hammering President Joe Biden over April jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report released on May 7 indicated that employers added roughly 266,000 jobs, down from 770,000 in March, and that the unemployment rate was nearly unchanged at 6.1% last month.

Congressional Republicans called that proof that Biden's economic policies were a failure.

"Unemployment rate up," tweeted Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington on Tuesday. "Biden's policies are failing & the tax hikes haven't even hit yet."

"April's dismal jobs report shows that Biden's economic policies are failing us," said Tennessee Rep. Diana Harshbarger.

"This #JobsReport is a clear message to @JoeBiden that his policies are not working," tweeted the Senate Republican conference.

Republicans simultaneously argued the disappointing jobs numbers were somehow evidence that Biden's $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan was not necessary.

"Today's jobs report is a disappointment—just like President Biden's plan to burden families with more taxes & more debt," tweeted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "While Dems trap people in a cycle of fear & pay them NOT to work, it's clear the best thing to do is end the crisis-era policies & get Americans back to work."

As of late Thursday morning, not one House or Senate Republican had acknowledged the more encouraging data or tweeted out congratulations to Biden for the progress made on his watch.

Since Biden took office in January, the nation has gained an estimated 1.5 million new jobs, more than any president has seen in their first 100 days since data collection began in 1939.

This comes after Donald Trump presided over a net loss of about 3 million jobs, the worst numbers since Herbert Hoover's one-term presidency ended in 1933.

Biden said Monday that his massive infrastructure package would be a vital step toward creating more jobs.

"That's why we need the American Jobs Plan, which is an eight-year investment strategy to make sure working people of this country get to share in the benefits of a rising economy, and to put us in a position to win the competition with China and the rest of the world for the 21st Century," he told reporters. "That's the next stage. That's what we're doing right now. We're working to get that passed."

A Moody's Analytics report estimated that if Biden's $2.25 trillion proposal becomes law, the economy will create 19 million jobs by 2030 — 2.7 million more than without the legislation.

Analysis published by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce in March predicted that even a $1.5 trillion plan would create or preserve 15 million jobs over a decade.

To date, not a single House or Senate Republican has backed the plan.

Instead, their proposals have included forcing more people to take jobs with unlivable low wages by cutting off their emergency unemployment benefits.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.