Outlook for US economic recovery

The labour market in the US saw positive signals in February. Promoting the “Made in America” initiative, US President Joe Biden is optimistic about the ability to reverse inflation, making the recovery prospect of the world's No. 1 economy much brighter.

Workers attend a job fair in Long Beach, California, US in May 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
Workers attend a job fair in Long Beach, California, US in May 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Despite high food and gas prices, the US labour market in February, was still buoyant and was rated by President Joe Biden as in a good state to deal with the challenges posed by inflation. According to data from the US Department of Labour, the US labour market created 678,000 jobs in February, much higher than forecast, helping to lower the unemployment rate to 3.8%.

Since President Biden took office, the US economy has created 7.4 million jobs. 2021 was the best year for manufacturing and trucking jobs, helping the US produce and move more goods faster than before.

The White House emphasised that, after a long period of paralysis due to the pandemic, the plan to restore the job market has had initial success, creating a basis for American employees to return to work, in various industries, including leisure, hospitality, construction, retail and manufacturing.

In his State of the Union address, before a joint session of Congress on March 2, the 46th US President emphasised that it is necessary to increase domestic production to fight inflation. Biden called for “made in the US” instead of depending on foreign supply chains, and outlined a plan to tackle inflation, which seriously affected the credit rating of the US.

The plan includes a series of actions by the White House, including boosting domestic manufacturing, strengthening supply chains, cutting costs and deficits, promoting competition, supporting small businesses, protecting consumers and removing barriers to well-paying jobs.

Stating that the “American Rescue ​Plan” has effectively supported American workers, Biden did not forget to praise the efforts of American businesses, amid the numerous challenges of the pandemic. President Biden mentioned the project of Intel Corporation on building a semiconductor chip factory, worth 20 billion USD and creating 10,000 jobs. Many other corporations also made great efforts to invest in priority and strong industries of the US, such as the production of electric cars.

It is expected that, the US Government will start repairing and upgrading more than 100,000 km of highways and 1,500 bridges in 2022, focusing on developing a green economy, to ensure a more sustainable environment, contributing to climate change response. President Biden emphasised the hope that these plans can help the US speed up its economic competition.

Regarding the pandemic response, President Biden said that the government will launch the “Test for treatment” initiative, which allows Americans to receive free treatment drugs. Despite the progress made in the fight against COVID-19, President Biden still asked Americans to prepare for the risk of new variants.

In order to respond to the impact of the world market and to stabilise energy prices, President Biden announced that Washington will release 30 million barrels of oil, from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and may release another 30 million barrels after discussions with partners.

Positive signals from the labour market show brighter prospects of the US economic recovery. The latest public opinion surveys show that Biden's approval rating has also increased, on a variety of issues, including domestic pandemic response and foreign policy. The increased support rate will be the basis for President Biden to expect good results in the midterm elections this November.