President Joe Biden’s economic policies are devastating black voters, one of their strongest voting blocks, shortly before the midterms.
Black Americans have been loyal voters to the Democratic Party for some time, though recently it’s been to their economic detriment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The most recent BLS data from July shows that while total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 528,000 jobs and overall unemployment fell 3.5% in the month alone, unemployment among black Americans rose 6% from June to July and the number of employed among the group decreased during the same timespan.
Glassdoor‘s Lead Economist and senior manager, Daniel Zhao, tweeted that labor force participation was the “weak point” for Biden’s July jobs report while the data for black males was especially disappointing.
“The decline in labor force participation was notably large for Black men, age 20+ where the labor force participation rate has plummeted from 68.9 percent in May to 67.3 percent in July,” Zhao tweeted. “Similarly, the Black unemployment rate rose to 6 percent in July, while the unemployment rate dropped for white, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian workers.”
“Not a trend you want to see start now if the labor market is headed for a slowdown,” Zhao added.
Similarly, the Black unemployment rate rose to 6 percent in July, while the unemployment rate dropped for white, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian workers. Not a trend you want to see start now if the labor market is headed for a slowdown.#jobsreport 11/ pic.twitter.com/HZBJNIxapT
— Daniel Zhao (@DanielBZhao) August 5, 2022
In addition to underwhelming job numbers for the group, Biden’s economic policies are also causing inflation to impact black Americans harder than almost all the other racial groups, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report released on June 30.
The N.Y. Federal Reserve used a scholarly method combining the BLS’ employment rates for racial and ethnic groups, its consumer price index (CPI), and the bureau’s consumer expenditure survey (CEX) to find how the inflation gap changes across demographics over time.
“When overall inflation began rising in March 2021, inflation disparities surged, with Black and Hispanic Americans experiencing higher inflation than the national average,” the report stated.
The disparities highlighted in the report were double that of 2019 when Asian Americans experienced “slightly” higher inflation than the national average, according to the N.Y. Federal Reserve.
The bank also found that not only do black Americans face higher inflationary pressures, the data compiled apparently “underestimates” the actual inflationary gaps and suggests the size of these disparities were “considerably higher.” (RELATED: ‘You Can’t Hide The Facts’: Majority Of Americans Think U.S. Is In A Recession, Poll Shows)
“It is likely that our procedure underestimates inflation disparities between different groups of Americans because, in addition to consuming different bundles of goods, different demographics likely face different prices for the same goods, with lower-income Americans and Black Americans facing higher price growth,” according to the N.Y. Federal Reserve.
The report suggests that the measured magnitude of disparities were between 0.2% to 0.6%. The national average for inflation in different categories like food, clothing, energy, housing, or entertainment is 9.2%, which means that black Americans will experience an inflation rate between 9.4-9.8%, according to the report.
“In this last jobs report, know one wanted to talk about the fact that a quarter of a million Black Americans dropped out the labor force & 166k lost their jobs. Real people in this economy are getting crushed at this very moment…” @cvpayne speaking the truth on @FaulknerFocus pic.twitter.com/YR5JqFo2Le
— PARIS (@PARISDENNARD) July 28, 2022
Political commentator Van Jones argued in July on CNN’s “New Day” that Biden’s low poll numbers were reflective of black American voters “going through a season of heartbreak, frustration and disappointment with the Biden Administration.”
“The Black community is being absolutely pummeled economically – bearing the brunt of the soaring gas, food and housing prices,” Jones wrote in the piece. “It’s no wonder only 34% of Black voters in the CNN poll said they approved of Biden’s handling of inflation.”
A poll conducted by CNN in July showed that Biden’s approval rating stood at 57% among black voters, down 6% since the spring. The CNN poll surveyed 1,459 U.S. adults from June 13-July 13 with a margin of error of +/-3.3%. (RELATED: ‘Just Erase The Past 6 Months Of Nutty Stuff’: Van Jones Says A Biden Comeback Hinges On Americans’ Forgetfulness)
Jones warns that Democrats there was a “widespread feeling that the Democrats have overpromised and under-delivered” for black Americans who heavily supported Democrats in the 2018 and 2020 elections. The Democratic Party is at risk of losing its energized voter base due to Biden’s progressive spending bills that don’t tackle issues black voters care about, according to Jones.
He said even achievements strictly for the black community, such a selecting a diverse cabinet and appointing the first black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, “alone won’t win back Black voters who feel the Biden Administration has fallen short on other political fronts.”
“The problem is that Democrats promised or hinted at so many more improvements for Black America,” Jones wrote. “None of these issues has been successfully addressed.”
Organizers with Black to the Future Action Fund (B2F) and Black Make Voter Project complained the Democratic party “consistently overlooks Black voters until it’s too late” in favor of being “focused on regaining white suburban voters, particularly white women,” reported The Hill on Friday.
“When we look at the challenges that this country is facing, from health care to housing, to safety, these things are disproportionately impacting communities of color and Black communities especially,” Alicia Garza, the principal of the B2F fund, told the Hill.
According to B2F “Temperature Check Year In Review” survey in July from Socianalitica Research, which measures black voter sentiment before the upcoming midterm elections, almost 50% of black Americans are disappointed with the direction the country is headed.
The same survey saw Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ approval ratings decrease from the high 70s to the mid 60s between July 2021 and May 2022. RELATED: Biden’s Approval Rating From Black Voters Plummets)
“Overwhelmingly, our respondents’ needs showed that economic recovery is their top priority,” reported the poll. “As we head into the midterm elections, Black communities want bold policy change that will produce a fair, stable economy.”
The Temperature Check Poll takes bi-monthly surveys of 5,999 black adults across the United States with a margin of error of +/- 1.3%, asking what their top concerns were and whether their elected officials were working toward a solution, according to the poll.
Black Male Voter Project founder Mondale Robinson told The Hill that the Democrats could lose black votes as their campaign style “ignores the issues most concerning to them.”
“What will happen is that Black voters will stay home,” Robinson told The Hill. “Black voters are not a monolith, but when we vote, we vote monolithically. Democrats don’t understand that if you’re not talking to the issues that are plaguing Black people, then midterms are going to be a lot worse than they have to be.”