Warm sunshine this Friday late-afternoon here in California’s Central Valley. as we inch closer and closer to the heat of summer.
Weather the hot storm to come is the only avenue for us, for everybody.
Especially with democracy in the shape it’s in right now. Despite an economy booming and plenty of jobs out there, Joe Biden is not liked too well — a poll earlier this week had him at 40-percent approval rating. Joe just can’t catch a break.
Democrats are feeling the heat, too, even off the midterms still months away. Dem Susan Wild of Pennsylvania noted that may be a need to distance with Biden’s low ratings: ‘“It’s always a concern when the president’s numbers are bad and you’re in the same party … In my district, and I think in most frontline districts, you win your campaign because people know you know what work you’ve done, … and they also know that I don’t always vote in line with the party.”‘
What? The horrible part is all this despite the incredibly great economic numbers:
Damn, Joe pic.twitter.com/fDqP3YVBIH
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 1, 2022
As far as America’s working economy is doing, we’re hurdling along — Biden’s so far has led the biggest bang for the buck in US history and today was another example of a society doing good but is scared shitless of the future — via The Washington Post updated this afternoon:
The U.S. labor market extended its streak of unprecedented growth, adding 431,000 jobs in March and sending the unemployment rate to a new pandemic low of 3.6 percent.
Two years into the pandemic, the country has recovered almost all of the jobs lost early on, although the pace of recent gains — an average of more than 600,000 monthly new jobs in the past six months — is raising questions about the job market’s sustainability with inflation at 40-year highs.
Economic uncertainty, including about rising interest rates and elevated gas prices, has led some economists to warn that job growth may soon slow to more modest levels.
There are other warning signs, too: The number of Americans who have jobs or are actively looking for work is still lower than it was before the crisis.
And although wages have risen 5.6-percent in the past year, they have not kept up with inflation of 7.9-percent.
For now, though, the picture remains exceedingly upbeat: The economy has added more than 400,000 jobs per month for 11 straight months. Both the unemployment rate and the number of people without jobs are almost down to pre-pandemic levels. And average hourly wages for private-sector workers continued to inch up, by 13 cents to $31.73 in March, the Labor Department said Friday.
“It’s been a remarkable recovery; we’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jane Oates, the president of the employment-focused nonprofit WorkingNation and a former Labor Department official.
“Two years ago, every sector was at least disrupted if not completely shut down. But we’ve had such a quick recovery that things are almost back to normal.”
Despite the good, solid numbers, Joe’s in a bind — per Yahoo! Finance this morning:
Wages are growing 5.6-percent per year, far above pre-pandemic levels, with the biggest gains coming among the lowest-paid workers.
Jobs and wages are booming in industries crushed by the COVID pandemic that exploded two years ago, including restaurants and travel.
Employers still report a near-record 11.3 million job openings, which suggests the labor market will stay hot for the foreseeable future.
So what’s the problem? As everybody knows, it’s inflation.
Prices are rising at an annual rate of 7.9-percent, and the recent spike in energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could push that higher still. In the consumer psyche, inflation trumps a hot job market, apparently: Consumer confidence has sunk during the last 12 months and is at recessionary levels.
This comes as COVID is receding and the many annoying public-health restrictions imposed during the last two years are finally disappearing.
Biden knows inflation is a grave threat to his presidency, with the first test coming in the November midterm elections.
If inflation is still around 8% in the fall, when voters are making up their minds, it will probably flip control of both houses of Congress from Biden’s Democrats to Republicans.
The question is whether Biden can do anything about it.
Especially with the midterms looming like an anchor weight on the pillars of democracy — Republicans are noted to win, even some envisioning a ‘landslide‘ for the GOP.
Hope it doesn’t bring us down:
In the end, once again here we are…
(Illustration above and out front: ‘Joe Biden,’ acrylic by Billy Jackson, and found here).
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