Updated: Feb 20, 2022
By D'Angelo Gore, Brooks Jackson, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson and Robert Farley Posted on January 20, 2022
A year ago, Joseph R. Biden took office as the 46th president of the United States — inheriting an economy weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic, but with effective vaccines to finally deal with it. To mark Biden’s first year in office, we take stock of how the U.S. has performed under the new president. Here are some highlights:
The U.S. economy added 6.2 million jobs since January 2021, but not all of the jobs lost during the pandemic have returned.
Economic growth slowed in the third quarter, but economists estimate the economy grew by about 5% in 2021 — the fastest in decades.
A key measurement of illegal immigration rose dramatically. The number of apprehensions at the border with Mexico increased by 317% in Biden’s first 10 full months in office, compared with the same period in 2020.
Inflation came roaring back. During Biden’s first 11 months in office, the Consumer Price Index increased 6.8%. Gasoline prices jumped 39%.
Wages and inflation are both up. But real weekly wages, adjusted for inflation, declined 2.2% for production and nonsupervisory workers.
Corporate profits and stock prices hit new records.
The number of people without health insurance went down by about 500,000, according to a government survey.
The U.S. trade deficit, which grew larger under President Donald Trump, continued to increase. The gap grew 27.3% in Biden’s first 10 months.
The number of people receiving food stamp benefits declined by about 905,000, or 2.2%, after steep increases during the height of the pandemic.
The federal debt continues to rise, and annual deficits remained in the trillions.
Biden has kept pace with Trump’s first year in winning confirmation of federal appeals court judges, and exceeded his predecessor in District Court confirmations.
The U.S. image abroad has recovered. In 12 nations, many of which are key U.S. allies and partners, a median of 62% of foreigners said they held a positive view of the U.S. — up from a median of 34% in Trump’s final year.