(Image: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)

While the possibility of an effective vaccine provides hope for a better 2021, the Biden administration will still begin work on January 20 facing a difficult economy.

The US unemployment figures for October, released last Friday, had plenty of good news. The unemployment rate fell to 6.9% in October from 7.9%, after a total of 638,000 jobs were added last month, topping estimates ranging from 530,000 to just a bit more than 600,000.

But about 22 million people are still without jobs and 7.3 million Americans are either permanently unemployed or had been out of work for at least six months. That figure rose by 1.2 million in October.