Did Biden’s chief of staff get all his statistics exactly right in a tweet about recent economic indicators?

Saturday, June 12, 2021
By Stevie Rosignol-Cortez

Ron Klain, President Biden's chief of staff, on June 10 tweeted a series of claims about the economy. He noted—accurately—recent positive trends in overall jobless claims, pandemic unemployment assistance claims, monthly job growth and economic growth.

He misstated a detail about the latest consumer price data. The May increase (0.6% vs. April) was down from the April increase (0.8% vs. March) but not, as he stated, from the March increase, which was also 0.6%.

The claim generating the most skepticism on Twitter, however, was his assertion that gas prices were down. According to the May consumer price data gasoline prices were down 0.7% from April, making Klain technically correct.

That data appears at odds with both the anecdotal evidence of many Twitter users as well as the widely-cited AAA index. As of June 11, 2021, the AAA said gas prices were up 0.4% from a month ago.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Initial unemployment claims
US Department of Labor Weekly unemployment claims, May 13
Economic Policy Institute Jobs and unemployment
US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index summary, May 2021
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