President Biden's State of the Union highlights economic promises

The economy is one of the key topics President Joe Biden will touch on Tuesday during his State of the Union address.
Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 07, 2023

From job growth to rising wages and falling inflation, President Joe Biden is expected to highlight the economy's progress under his reign in his second State of the Union address Tuesday.

But, the typical indicators haven't been enough to stem concerns about a potential recession.

It wasn't until Monday that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen explicitly said she believes the economy will avoid one.

"You don't have a recession when you have 500,000 jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in more than 50 years," Yellen said. "What I see is a path in which inflation is declining significantly, and the economy is remaining strong."

Biden to push for bipartisanship in State of the Union address

Biden to push for bipartisanship in State of the Union address

The State of the Union will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT.


Even as the economy has recovered, layoffs in certain industries like tech have kept Americans on edge, and it shows in the data.

For example, consumer confidence fell between December and January, showing consumers were nervous about the short-term outlook on jobs and business conditions.

Experts say there's a reason for the disconnect.

"Part of it is that there is a lag, right?" said Anna Rathbun, chief investment officer at CBIZ. "How people feel is about today and in the future, potentially, three to six months down the line, whereas these numbers are data from last month or last quarter."

They also point out the conventional measures of economic health, like the jobs report, are full of nuance and help explain why not every person feels optimistic about the economy.

"The housing survey shows some weakness because most of those jobs gained are actually part-time jobs rather than full-time jobs," Rathbun said. "So if you're not able to get a full-time job and you're getting a part-time job for economic reasons, that may not feel that great for you."

Still, those headline numbers — like 517,000 jobs and 2.9% GDP growth — are likely to be emphasized in the president's speech.

Do State of the Union speeches still matter?

Do State of the Union speeches still matter?

Does this annual tradition of our president addressing Congress still have the same impact that it used to?