President Biden’s First Year: Record Firsts

It is without a doubt that President Joe Biden’s first year in office was busy and challenging. Faced with several difficulties, which include the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the end of the United States of America’s longest war in Afghanistan, rising inflation, the stalling of his voting and social agenda, the passage of historic infrastructure legislation, and so many others.

Summarizing President Biden’s record firsts, as well as the highs and lows of the year 2021, would be easier if we took a look at the numbers.

Consumer prices increased by 7% in 2021. For over 40 years, this was the fastest record of inflation rate in the country. This is amidst the supply chain disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in demand. In 2017, consumer prices rose by 2.1% in Trump’s first year. In 2009, consumer prices rose by 2.7% in Obama’s first year.

In President Biden’s first year in office, the economy recorded an additional 6.4 million jobs, which was around 537,000 jobs per month. In 2017, during Trump’s first year in office, the economy recorded an additional 2.1 million jobs, which was around 182,000 jobs per month. In addition, Obama took office during one of the direst economic crises since the Great Depression. In 2009, the economy lost over 5 million jobs, which was around 416,000 jobs per month as the Great Recession started in 2008 and continued.

It’s crucial that we also look at the unemployment rate during President Biden’s first year. When he took office in January 2021, the unemployment rate was at 6.3% and this has fallen to 3.9% by December of the same year. Under Trump, the unemployment rate as of January 2017 fell from 4.7% to 4.1% in December 2017. Under Obama, the unemployment rate in January 2009 rose from 7.8% to 9.9% as of December 2009.

President Biden visited a total number of 27 states during his first year in office. His most frequent visit was to Pennsylvania, after his home in Delaware. His trips to 9 of the states were aimed at addressing natural disasters, such as wildfires, winter storms, hurricanes, and other disasters like the collapse of the Surfside apartment in Florida. A summary of the places that Mr. Biden visited during his first year in office is as follows: the United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, Vatican City, and Italy. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

President Biden has also given a total number of 20 formal interviews during his first year. According to CBS News count, this was less compared to Former President Barack Obama’s 158 interviews during his first year in office.

  • People Magazine (with Jill Biden), February 3, 2021
  • Westwood One’s Jim Gray (with Jill Biden), February 3, 2021
  • CBS Norah O’Donnell Super Bowl interview, February 5, 2021
  • Westwood One Sports Super Bowl interview, February 7, 2021
  • CNN Town Hall with Anderson Cooper, February 17, 2021
  • Univision’s Ilia Calderon, February 26, 2021
  • ABC George Stephanopoulos, March 16, 2021
  • ESPN’s Sage Steele, March 31, 2021
  • NBC News’ Craig Melvin, April 30, 2021
  • MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, May 12, 2021
  • New York Times’ David Brooks, May 20, 2021
  • The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere, May 25, 2021
  • CNN Town Hall with Don Lemon, July 22, 2021
  • ABC George Stephanopoulos, August 18, 2021
  • CNN Town Hall with Anderson Cooper, October 22, 2021
  • Cincinnati Local 12, November 8, 2021
  • NBC Jimmy Fallon (virtual), December 10, 2021
  • CBS Sunday Morning Rita Braver (Jill Biden feature), December 12, 2021
  • WHIO TV in Dayton, Ohio, December 14, 2021
  • CBS News19 in Columbia, South Carolina, December 14, 2021
  • ABC News David Muir, December 22, 2021


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