Scroll to the top

Jobs are up, but Biden and Trudeau still risk losing theirs

A "Help Wanted" sign hangs in a restaurant window. ​

A "Help Wanted" sign hangs in a restaurant window.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

January was an encouraging month for job growth in the US and Canada. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 353,000 new jobs stateside with unemployment holding steady at 3.7%. Meanwhile, Statistics Canada says jobs were up by 37,000 during the same period and unemployment was down to 5.7% – a modest drop of 0.1%. Both countries exceeded expectations.

You might think better-than-expected economic news would herald brighter fortunes for President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but you would almost certainly be wrong. Both men’s polling numbers are nowhere near where they’d like them to be.

Biden’s favorables are flat with roughly 40% of Americans approving of his job performance compared to 55% who disapprove. Meanwhile, 86% of the country thinks he’s too old to run again. North of the border, Trudeau continues to trail Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre by double digits, and his party is stuck in the mud.

There’s a chance numbers will improve for the incumbents, but the December jobs report in the US also exceeded expectations and didn’t boost Biden’s ratings. The Canadian numbers were softer in December, so Liberals have some hope the latest good news will give Trudeau a boost this time.

But so far, and perhaps counterintuitively, their political fortunes do not seem directly tied to economic performance.


Subscribe to GZERO's daily newsletter