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Bidenomics Going Bust? Unemployment Is Rapidly Rising In Most US States As Election Looms

Credit: White House Flickr Stream

By Will Kessler, The Daily Caller News Foundation | March 25, 2024

The unemployment rate went up in all but three states over the past year as President Joe Biden continues to boast about his handling of the economy.

The states with the biggest jump in individual unemployment rates year-over-year as of February were Rhode Island, Maine and Connecticut, which all increased 1% or greater, while Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Wyoming were the only states that saw statistically significant declines, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Biden has made repeated attempts to convince voters of the strength of the American economy despite factors like persistently high inflation, such as at the State of the Union on March 7, where the president described the U.S. economy as the “envy of the world,” according to NPR.

California had the highest unemployment rate of any state at 5.3%, followed by D.C. at 5.1% and Nevada at 5.2%, according to the BLS. North Dakota had the lowest rate at 2.0%, followed by Vermont at 2.3% and South Dakota at 2.1%.

The overall unemployment rate was 3.9% in February, 0.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The respective unemployment rates rose statistically significantly in 28 states, according to the BLS.

Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Texas had the biggest relative jump in month-to-month employment in February, rising 0.4%, 0.7%, 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively, according to the BLS.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in the last year in only 25 states and was not significantly changed in the other states or the District of Columbia, according to the BLS. Nevada, Alaska and South Carolina all had job increases of 3% or more.

Biden embraced the term “Bidenomics” to describe his administration’s economic policies after it was first used in a piece in The Wall Street Journal, with other publications adopting it after.

“I inherited an economy that was on the brink,” Biden said at the State of the Union, according to NPR. “Now our economy is the envy of the world…We’re cracking down on corporations that engage in price gouging or deceptive pricing from food to health care to housing.”

The BLS estimates that the U.S. added 275,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in February, even though it revised its estimations of job gains down for the previous two months by a combined 124,000. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia notes that job gains over the past year could be revised down even more as new data becomes available.

Persistent inflation has continued to stress consumers and businesses, resulting in prices increasing by 18.5% in total since Biden first took office. Inflation peaked at 9.1% in June 2022 and has decelerated to 3.2% as of February, far from the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

Inflation remains a top concern for voters, only recently being overshadowed by immigration in a poll released Monday by The Harris Poll for Harvard University. The rise in concern about immigration comes as illegal crossings at the southern border have surged, stressing communities around the country.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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