Strong job gains unlikely to boost Biden’s standing with Americans

Another sign that the nation Work market is roaring after taking a punch to the gut from the coronavirus pandemic on Friday.

The US economy added 431,000 healthy jobs in March, and the nation’s unemployment level fell to 3.6%, a new low since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, according to statistics from the federal government.

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President Biden he highlighted the new numbers, tweeting shortly after the report’s release that “This is a historic recovery: Americans are back to work.”

“Our policies are working and we are getting results for the American people,” Biden touted in comments later Friday morning at the White House.

But polls suggest that many Americans may not agree with the president, since inflation and historic increases in gasoline prices in recent weeks appear to be overshadowing the sharp rebound in jobs and the resulting rise in wages in the court of public opinion.

An overwhelming majority said rising gas prices are a problem for their family, more than half of voters believe inflation is “not quite” under control, and views of the economy remain decidedly negative. according to the most recent report. Fox News national poll, which took place from March 18 to 21. The survey also highlighted that more than two-thirds have had to cut spending to make ends meet, as a growing number say they are falling behind financially.

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Inflation is at its highest levels in decades, and rising consumer prices are being driven in part by soaring energy prices. Three out of ten respondents in a Quinnipiac University The national survey conducted March 24-28 said inflation is the most urgent problem facing the country right now, with Russia’s full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine a distant second at 14%.

The gap was even more pronounced in a Kaiser Family Foundation A national poll released Thursday, with 55% of Americans citing inflation and rising prices as the biggest problem facing the country, with the war in Ukraine a distant second at 18%. And a nbc news The survey conducted March 18-22 indicated that the cost of living outperformed jobs and the economy as the top issue by a margin of 21% to 16%.

Biden talks about the jobs report

President Biden speaks about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, April 1, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky/AP Newsroom)

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While the president’s overall approval ratings remain solidly underwater, Biden’s position on how he is handling the economy and specifically inflation is even more negative.

The president’s overall approval rating in the Fox News poll was between 45% and 54%. But approval/disapproval of him dropped to 38%-59% on his handling of the economy and 31%-66% on his handling of rising prices. The two-thirds who disapproved of inflation consisted of 89% of Republicans, nearly three-quarters of independents, and even 39% of Democrats.

Fox News Biden/Inflation Poll

Fox News Biden/Inflation Poll (Fox News/Fox News)

Biden’s approval rating on the economy was between 34% and 58% in the Quinnipiac poll.

“Until the pressure of higher prices subsides, it’s hard to imagine what Biden can say to help people feel better about the job he’s doing on the economy,” said Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, whose firm conducts the poll. Fox News poll with Republican Daron Shaw.

Just over half of those polled in the Fox News poll also said the president and his policies have made the economy worse, with just 22% saying they’ve made conditions better and a quarter suggesting they haven’t done much. difference.

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Gasoline prices began rising during the final months of the former Trump administration, as the economy began to recover from pandemic-induced shutdowns in early 2020. And they rose during Biden’s tenure in the White House as that the economy heated up. Prices at the pump have soared further in recent months amid the Russian military buildup and subsequent invasion of Ukraine.

gasoline prices

Gasoline prices are displayed at a gas station in Long Beach, Calif., Wednesday, March 9, 2022. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. hit a record high of $4.17 on Tuesday as the country shrank prepares to ban imports of Russian oil. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis/AP Newsroom)

The president and his administration have repeatedly blamed Russian leader Vladimir Putin for rising gasoline prices, calling it “Putin’s price gouging.”

“We need to do more to control prices,” Biden said Friday before once against arguing that “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed up gas prices and food prices around the world.” ”.

But the Quinnipiac poll indicates that by a 41%-24% margin, Americans blame the president and his policies rather than the Ukraine war and Russian oil import sanctions for rising prices in the US. bomb.

“Which is more responsible when filling up the tank hurts? A raging war launched from Moscow or an economic policy built in DC? More Americans say the blame lies with the latter,” said Tim Malloy, a polling analyst at the University of Quinnipiac.

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All of this spells trouble for the resident and his party as Democrats try to hold on to their slim majorities in the House and Senate in November. midterm elections.

When the Kaiser poll asked what will be the most important issue when voting in the midterms, the economy, inflation and rising prices were far ahead of anything else. Nearly half of Republicans, 36% of independents and even 30% of Democrats said the economy and consumer prices will trump all other issues when deciding which candidates to support in November.

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