Economy & Labor

With the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) in March 2021 (not one Republican voted for it) and hundreds of executive and agency actions, President Biden, VP Harris and Democrats took the US economy from the Trump recession to the Biden Boom which delivered better jobs (many of which are union and manufacturing), higher wages, profitable businesses and increased savings. The Biden-Harris Administration also took a strong pro-union stance in its actions and appointments unlike Trump. And every piece of legislation passed by Democrats has been firmly centered on building an economy that is sustainable, fair and equitable for all.

 

What Have the Biden-Harris Administration and Dems Done?

 

Overall Economy

      • Rebuilt the economy and delivered record economic growth in 2021 – the most since 1984.
      • On track to reduce the deficit by a record $1.7T by the end of 2022 despite the passage of major spending bills – the largest reduction of any president in history in one year.
      • Concerned about inflation – see More Details below.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

      • Created a record of nearly 10M jobs which led to the lowest unemployment in 50 years.
      • Passed the American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act which will create good paying, union and non-union jobs in technology and clean energy sectors of the next decade.
      • Launched Good Jobs Initiative to combat inequities.
      • Provided $140M for job training grants underemployed workers.
      • Awarded $122M in Apprenticeship Building America grants.

Wages Up, Greater Pay Equity

      • Increased job opportunities led to increased wages.
      • Wages were up an average of 5.2% compared to a year ago in July 2022 – even higher for low-wage workers.
      • Wages gains and income growth were strongest for working class Americans; they made huge gains with 10.9% income growth in 2021.
      • Black and Hispanic households had the highest real income growth the past 2 years.
      • Wages grew a record 12% for the youngest workers in June 2022.
      • Implemented $15 minimum wage for federal workers.
      • House Democrats also passed a $15 minimum wage (Senate Republicans blocked it).
      • Gave hazard pay and bonuses to 740K COVID frontline workers.
      • Required pay equity among federal contractors.

Greater Financial Security – More Savings, Less Debt

Labor Is Back

Labor leaders have repeatedly praised President Biden for his strong pro-union actions – including the appointment of pro-labor Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson; the appointment of a pro-labor majority to the NLRB board, replacing two right-wing Donald Trump-named GOP board members who were anti-labor; and his appointment of Secretary of Labor – former union leader – Marty Walsh. But the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts didn’t stop there. They have also:

      • Restored collective bargaining rights for federal employees.
      • Supported record union organizing – union activity in the US is skyrocketing – up 58%.
      • Delivered 660K manufacturing jobs – more on average by month than any president in 50 years – with more to come as companies announce new manufacturing plant openings:
          • New $1.2B First Solar plant, $2.5B Toyota EV battery plant, Sparkz EV battery plant, and $4.4B LG/Honda EV battery plant – thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.
          • New $42.5B Corning fiber optics plant – thanks to the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act
          • New $40B Micron micro-chips plant, $4.2B Qualcomm micro-chips and $100B Intel micro-chips plant – thanks to the CHIPS Act.
          • Note: Trump promised to bring manufacturing back, but instead nearly 1,800 factories closed between 2016-2018 and in 2020 alone, the US lost 740K manufacturing jobs.
      • Championed American manufacturing by creating first-ever Made In America Office which directs federal funds to US manufacturers and requires US manufacturing for federally funded jobs.
      • Strengthened the Buy America rules which now require at least 60% of products purchased by the government to be made in the US and it will increase to 75% over the next decade. This is the biggest change to the Buy America rules in 70 years.
      • Required the use of project labor agreements for federal construction projects of over $35M which is estimated to apply to $262B in federal government construction, with contracts employing 200K construction workers.
      • Protected workers’ pension plans, including vulnerable union pension plans, from failing through the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021.
      • Delivered on Biden’s promise to be the most pro-union President in decades. North America’s Building Trades Unions Chief of Staff Mike Monroe reveals how Trump completely broke his promises and undermined American workers, while President Biden delivered for labor.
      • Note: The GOP has proposed abolishing the NLRB.

What Have the Biden-Harris Administration and Dems Done?

 

Overall Economy

      • Rebuilt the economy and delivered record economic growth in 2021 – the most since 1984. In 2021, fueled by ARP and the launch of Biden’s COVID vaccine and testing programs, the US returned to work and had the strongest economic growth since 1984 with US GDP at 5.7% (DOUBLE the average since 1976).
      • On track to reduce the deficit by a record $1.7T despite the passage of major spending bills. Biden inherited from Trump a $3.3T deficit. In less than two years, Biden has significantly reduced the deficit and is on track to cut the deficit by $1.7 TRILLION in 2022 alone – the largest reduction of any president in history in one year. This estimate does not include the Inflation Reduction Act which is estimated to reduce the deficit by an additional $305B over the next decade.
      • Quick note on inflation. Inflation is a global issue fueled by the increased consumer demand (people are spending money), pandemic-related supply chain delays, and Russia’s war on Ukraine which impacts food and oil supplies. Fortunately, the US is doing better than many countries with inflation down in July 2022 by 0.6% to 8.5% and down .2% in August 2022. Prices have also dropped on many consumer items.
        • To reduce the impact of global inflation, the Biden-Harris Administration and Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan which strengthened the economy with record job creation and wage growth, and the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the impact of rising prices on Americans.
        • Democrats have also tried to pass other legislation to help Americans, but Republicans keep blocking it. (They voted against anti-price gouging for oil companies, baby formula relief for families, a $35 insulin cap, stimulus checks, reduced prescription drug prices, and lowering health care costs.)
        • Upshot: Not only do Republicans NOT have a plan to reduce inflation; they block every effort to bring it down. Democrats are the only party trying to help Americans.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

      • Created a record of nearly 10M jobs which led to the lowest unemployment in 50 years. A record of nearly 10M jobs have been added in just 17 months – far more than experts and financial markets had predicted. 21 states – the most in history – have unemployment rates at or below 3 percent. Americans across the country are back to work at historic levels.
      • Passed the American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Chips Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Every piece of legislation has and/or will create good paying, union and non-union jobs in technology and clean energy sectors over the next decade.
      • And there’s more. Despite record job creation, the Biden-Harris Administration is doing even more:
          • Launched Good Jobs Initiative to combat inequities.
          • Awarded $122M in Apprenticeship Building America grants.
          • Provided $140M for job training grants underemployed workers.

Wages Up, Greater Pay Equity

      • Increased job opportunities led to increased wages.
          • Wages were up 5.2% compared to a year ago in July 2022 – even more for low-wage workers.
          • Wages gains and income growth for the lowest wage workers. In 2021, wage gains were strongest for workers in the bottom quartile of income earners. Studies also showed that working class Americans made huge gains with 10.9% income growth in 2021.
          • Black and Hispanic households had the highest real income growth. The J.P. Morgan Chase Institute found that since the beginning of the pandemic, Black and Hispanic households experienced the highest real income growth trends, with Black households reaching about 7.5% annualized real income growth over the past 2 years.
          • Wages for younger workers are up. Wages grew a record 12% for the youngest workers in June 2022.
          • Implemented $15 minimum wage for federal workers. In 2021, Biden signed a series of EOs providing a $15 minimum wage for employees of federal contractors and federal employees. These actions impacted more than 370K workers in 2022 alone, a population that is disproportionately Black and takes a step towards addressing long standing wage disparities.
          • House Democrats also passed a $15 minimum wage. Blocked by Republican Senators.
          • Gave hazard pay for COVID frontline workers. The American Rescue Plan provided hazard pay and bonuses for more than 740K workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
          • Required pay equity among federal contractors. President Biden instructed the government to develop policies and procedures to increase pay equity among federal contractors, including exploring limiting or banning prior pay history in the employment process.

Greater Financial Security – More Savings, Less Debt

      • Improved personal finances led to a record low of credit card delinquencies. In the final three quarters of 2021, credit card delinquencies hit record lows with credit card debt lower than pre-pandemic.
      • Provided greater financial stability and wealth for lower and middle income Americans for the first time in a generation.
      • Supported rural economic investment and helped home buyers. The USDA provides loans to individuals for home purchases with no money down.
      • For struggling families: The Biden-Harris Administration revised the Thrifty Food Plan and raised the permanent base SNAP benefit (food stamps) by an average of 27%. Biden also signed an EO allowing 25M Americans who were ineligible under the Trump Administration to qualify for emergency SNAP benefits.
      • Eliminated $100B in medical debts from credit reports. Americans have over $100B in medical debt which lowers individual’s credit scores and makes it difficult to get credit cards or take out loans. The Biden-Harris Administration worked with credit agencies to remove medical debt from credit reports, allowing more Americans to get credit cards and loans.

Labor Is Back

Labor leaders have repeatedly praised President Biden for his strong pro-union actions – including the appointment of pro-labor Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson; the appointment of a pro-labor majority to the NLRB board, replacing two right-wing Donald Trump-named GOP board members who were anti-labor; and his appointment of Secretary of Labor – former union leader – Marty Walsh. And there’s more:

LAST UPDATED ON SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2022