Monday was a bad day for stock investors, the latest of several bad days over the past few months. This news follows the release of the April jobs report. The Dow Jones market index set a new 52-week low, at 32,245.7 points, continuing its downward trend since late 2021 for a drop of 12.7% total from record highs. The NASDAQ also set a new 52-week low at 11,623.2. The exchange dropped 521.4 – a 4.29% percent decrease on Monday alone. The S&P 500 also closed with a new 52-week low of 3,991.24. It was down 132.10 points on the day, a loss of 3.20%. 

Republicans blame President Joseph R. Biden’s (D) handling of the economy for the growing economic concerns. 

“While President Biden is desperately trying to find a ray of sunshine from today's job report, it is his policies that are driving up inflation and taking more money away from hardworking American families,” said Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL05) on social media. “It is time to reverse these disastrous policies and stop this out-of-control inflation.”

Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL02) commented on high gasoline prices, saying, “The American people see the direct result of President Biden's anti-American energy policies at the gas pump. Folks around the district are paying about $4.00 per gallon. Gas prices are expected to rise again. Biden's failed energy policies are hitting drivers right in the wallet.  Unleash American energy NOW.”

Congressman Jerry Carl (R-AL01) agreed and said, “Unleashing American Energy. All of us have felt the pain at the pump as prices continue to rise. These high prices are also causing us to pay more for everything, including groceries, basic goods, and building supplies. President Biden has been at war with American energy since day one in office, but I am fighting back. We need energy independence and we need to bring the cost of fuel down. I just introduced a new bill to unleash American energy and prevent the Biden administration from shutting it down or slowing it down again. You have my word I will continue fighting against any actions that harm our ability to produce energy here at home."

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) recently spoke with over 300 members of the Alabama Truckers Association at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. The senator focused on a number of issues that have a direct impact on the trucking industry, including inflation, gas prices, supply chain issues, and the shortage in the nation’s workforce. Tuberville said that truckers have kept this country moving during the pandemic, and he pointed out that the entire world now knows how vital the trucking industry is to our way of life.

In a recent newsletter to constituents, Tuberville commented on rising prices and called out Democrats for moving forward with spending policies that he claims cost the average American household $5,200 more this year alone. 

“Prices at the pump have been steadily rising since January 2021 when President Biden took office,” read the newsletter. “In fact, the week before Russia invaded Ukraine, gasoline prices were already up 48%. We need to unleash America’s energy industry – yet President Biden has canceled the Keystone Pipeline which would have provided us with 800,000 barrels of oil per day. We don’t need to buy oil from crooks and criminals, we need to explore for energy here in our own country. Americans have been impacted by prices at the pump.

“This is especially true for Alabamians like Gregory, a Jefferson County native who contacted my office with concerns with 'the economy, inflation, the cost of groceries, and general living expenses," Tuberville continued. "Gregory expressed his concern as his family's 'groceries alone have gone up,' as well as the cost of fertilizer and fuel for his farm. Looking Ahead: The answer to rising prices and supply chain shortages is simple: unleash American energy, allow the free market to thrive, and stop the government spending spree. The Federal Reserve has finally stepped up to the plate by beginning to raise interest rates. They were behind the curve, but their efforts can go a long way in addressing the inflation crisis as long as President Biden and Democrats in Congress halt their push to skyrocket domestic spending.”

The jobs report was not all bad news. The report showed that the unemployment rate nationally dropped to just 3.6%. The economy added 428,000 new jobs. The labor force participation rate was 62.5% with over 60% of Americans over the age of 18 working. The report showed that wages are up 5.5% over the past 12 months, but since inflation is up over 8.5% the average American family has seen its true earnings power decline.

U.S. job openings reached a record 11.5 million in March, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Last month, the Labor Department said that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 8.5% in March from a year ago, the fastest pace since December 1981, when inflation hit 8.9%. Prices jumped 1.2% in the one-month period from February alone. That is the largest month-to-month jump since 2005. A record number of Americans quit their jobs in March as increasingly Americans are trying to keep up with rising prices by making more career moves in search of a higher wage. Paradoxically, this only increases inflation. The jobs reports showed that this is the tightest labor market in decades.

The jobs report and the consumer price index report followed news that the economy actually contracted during the first quarter due to exports failing to keep up with the increase in imports due to poor economies in many nations abroad. There are also concerns in the market about increased COVID-19 lockdowns in China. The continuation of the war between Russia and Ukraine is also adding to the bearish market sentiment.

(Original reporting by The Hill contributed to this report.)

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