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US News USA: Biden pushes for his stimulus plan despite good employment figures

04:52  06 march  2021
04:52  06 march  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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J oe Biden hammered on Friday the need to adopt his stimulus plan without delay, tempering the enthusiasm created by good employment figures in the United States, a sign that heralds a mini economic boom in the spring.

The text is currently being discussed in the Senate, mired in long discussions. Democrats hope that this envelope of nearly 1.9 trillion dollars will be adopted there this weekend, before a final vote in the House of Representatives.

This plan "is absolutely essential to turn the situation around, get children back to school safely, offer a lifeline to small businesses and get the upper hand on Covid-19", insisted Joe Biden.

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In February, 379,000 jobs were created, nearly three times more than in January, the Labor Department announced in the morning.

"At this rate, it will take two years to get back to the nails" and regain the level of February 2020, warned the US president.

Bars and restaurants, which have suffered particularly since the start of the crisis, are those which have hired the most last month. The ban on serving indoors has in fact been relaxed in some regions.

Other activities related to recreation and accommodation, as well as health services, retail sales, manufacturing, also created new jobs.

And the country's businesses are especially putting themselves in battle order for the announced mini economic boom.

As of the spring, consumption should indeed jump, driven by the vaccinations carried out at full speed, and by the public aid distributed since the start of the crisis which, coupled with falling spending, have filled Americans' bank accounts, in particular most well-off.

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Stimulus plan mired in the Senate

According to Joe Biden, the good job creation figures are certainly due to the $ 900 billion stimulus plan that was adopted at the end of December and signed by his predecessor Donald Trump.

And without new aids, all of this "will slow down", he warned, "you cannot take one step forward and two steps back".

"The reopening of services will be the dominant element for employment in the coming months", analyzes Ian Shepherdson, economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, who expects 1 million jobs created in March.

But it will still take time to return to the pre-pandemic level since 9.5 million jobs are still lacking. The crisis destroyed 22 million. And 18 million Americans are still receiving an allowance, after losing their jobs or seeing their income plunge.

The return to full employment in 2021 is "quite improbable", also warned Thursday the president of the American Central Bank (Fed), Jerome Powell.

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Persistent inequalities

The unemployment rate, on the other hand, fell only very slightly to 6.2% after 6.3% in January. He was expected stable.

The apparent contradiction between strong job creations and an almost stable unemployment rate is partly explained by certain difficulties in recruiting, the unemployed not being ready for a return to work under any conditions.

It is also linked to the fact that the number of unemployed is emptying on one side, thanks to all those who find a job, but fills up on the other, with those who start looking for work again while they are had given up, either by choice or by obligation.

And, this beginning of recovery did not benefit the whole population, since black workers are the only ones to have seen their unemployment rate increase, from 9.2% to 9.9%.

Thus, the participation rate of Americans in the labor market is stable compared to January, at 61.4%, "close to its lowest level since the 1970s", observe Gregory Daco and Lydia Boussour, analysts for Oxford Economics.

And "if we take into account people who have left the workforce (...) and persistent classification errors, the unemployment rate remains around 9.3%", they add.

They expect, however, that 7 million jobs will be created in 2021, with unemployment below 5% by the end of the year.

06/03/2021 02:02:42 - Washington (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

United States. Joe Biden promulgates the American stimulus plan .
© Tom Brenner, REUTERS American President Joe Biden during the signing of the rescue plan, this Thursday, March 11, at the White House. The American president signed this Thursday March 11 the massive aid plan of 1.9 trillion dollars adopted Wednesday in Congress by the Democrats alone. It goes far beyond fighting the virus and tackling inequalities. The American president Joe Biden promulgated this Thursday, March 11 the American rescue plan.

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