When President Biden ran for office, he promised to build an economy that works for all— and he delivered. In over two years since he took office, Biden has presided over an economy that has added more than 13.2 million jobs, empowered workers, and created a more equitable economy for Latinos and all Americans. This progress is the result of policies aimed at growing the middle class. And Biden has signed historic legislation to create a solid foundation for the economy to grow further by investing in workers.
When President Biden took office, he inherited an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent and the Congressional Budget Office projected the unemployment rate would remain above 4 percent throughout his first term. Yet, the unemployment rate fell below 4 percent in December 2021, less than a year into his presidency, and the economy has not looked back since— staying at or below 4 percent for 19 months.
Latinos have particularly made strong gains in the labor market. For instance, the Hispanic unemployment rate dipped to a record low last year— falling below 4 percent for the first time on record— and it remained near record lows last month. And the share of Latinas aged 20 or over holding a job matched a record high in May 2023. But under Biden the economy isn’t just adding jobs, workers are being empowered because Biden is building equity into everything he does.
Trump presided over one of the most unequal job market recessions in modern history but Biden has led us to one of the most robust and equitable recoveries. The Biden administration achieved this by working with Democrats in Congress to give Latino families greater economic security and mobility. When Biden took office, he directed his agencies to put up safeguards to ensure that all families could keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table. He also helped to cut the cost of living for everyday expenses, made health care more affordable and accessible and reduced poverty for millions of Latino children. And as the nation pulled itself out of the recession, the President signed legislation that made smart investments to help create good quality jobs that expand pathways into the middle class and inject money into Latino communities and businesses, particularly those that need them the most. By prioritizing equitable access to opportunities, Biden made sure that Latino workers, families, and communities who have historically been left behind would benefit from the historic investments he signed into law.
While many experts have been forecasting a recession for more than a year, the job market under President Biden has blown every projection out of the water by advancing faster than expected. It’s why the Federal Reserve reversed its earlier forecast last month and no longer predicts there will be a recession. This makes President Biden’s economic agenda all that more impressive, particularly when you consider that the United States economy has remained resilient in the face of a lot of uncertainties.
Simply put: President Biden’s economic plan is working for Latinos and all Americans. While the accumulated effects of our nation’s long history and legacy of discriminatory policies and practices mean that Latinos might not yet feel these outcomes and still have a long way to go before achieving true equity, this administration has worked to expand pathways to the middle class to create a much more equitable economy than that of the past.
The president has promised to continue working to narrow systemic racial inequalities that have left communities of color trailing whites on nearly every economic measure. Now, Latinos are counting on the Biden administration to deliver on his promise to build a more equitable economy and, given his track record, Latinos are in good hands.
* Rafael Medina is a director of media relations at the Center for American Progress.