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Can Biden’s Jobs Number Be Trusted Any More?

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi / Unsplash

President Joe Biden has staked so much on his claim that he’s “created” 13.5 million jobs since taking office that it’s worth asking if his Labor Department is now goosing job growth figures to help him out.

On Friday just before the holiday weekend, Labor released its estimates for job growth in August – which it said worked out to 187,000, beating economists’ forecasts.

But at the same time, the government cut the job growth numbers for the previous two months by a total of 110,000.

As a matter of fact, Labor has quietly cut its initial job growth estimates for every month this year.

Based on those initial estimates, the economy should have created 2.2 million jobs in 2023. Now Labor says that number is less than 1.9 million. In other words, it’s exaggerated job gains by more than 300,000 – or 19%.

“Every single month this year has seen its payroll numbers revised down. It’s difficult to stress how unusual this is as it’s so statistically unlikely. There is clearly something wrong with the estimations being done by President Joe Biden’s Department of Labor,” said EJ Antoni, an economist at the Heritage Foundation.

Earlier this year, we noted that Biden’s jobs record could be even more exaggerated because of the way the Labor Department fills in gaps in its survey data. We wrote that:

Jonathan Pingle, chief U.S. economist at UBS, told the Journal ‘that the level of nonfarm payroll employment at the end of 2022 was likely too high by several hundred thousand, and that the overstatement might have carried into 2023.’

The White House touted the August jobs news, with Biden declaring that “America is now in one of the strongest job-creating periods in our history — in the history of our country.”

He also bragged that “more than 700,000 people joined the labor force last month, which means the highest share of working-age Americans are in the workforce now than at any time in the past 20 years.”

He added, “People are coming off the sidelines, getting back to their workplaces.”

But that’s not what’s happening at all.

That same month, the number of unemployed also jumped by 514,000. In other words, while lots of people “joined” the labor force in August, only a fraction of them got jobs, which is why the unemployment rate jumped up to 3.8%.

It’s just as likely that the influx of people into the labor market isn’t a sign of “optimism,” as the Biden administration claims, but desperation.

All those who didn’t feel the need to work over the past few years thanks to Biden’s “rescue” spending, are now beginning to realize that they need jobs to make ends meet.

Credit card debt recently surpassed the $1 trillion mark and credit card delinquency rates are on the upswing, which Mike Brisson, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, described as “very concerning.”

As the Washington Post put it: “The pain is most acute for lower-income earners, who have largely used whatever they managed to save during the pandemic with the help of government stimulus checks and breaks on obligations such as rent and student loans.”

Worse, they’re entering a job market just as businesses are increasingly reluctant to take on new hires.

This month’s data also showed an 85,000 drop in the number of full-time jobs in August, on top of a huge decline of 585,000 in July, which means there are now fewer people working full-time jobs than there were in March.

As Hot Air put it: “Less good full-time jobs available just as the couch potatoes come off the sidelines after the long COVID college loan break. I sure hope they’ve thought ahead enough to occasionally polish whatever skill sets they had besides PlayStation thumbs.”

By the way, Labor isn’t the only government agency going back to revise things downward.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department issued an updated reading for Q2, revising Gross Domestic Product down to 2.1%, from its previous 2.4% – suddenly $15 billion the Commerce Department thought was there vanished.

No matter. Just keep reminding yourself: Bidenomics is working. Bidenomics is working. Bidenomics is working.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board