Biden Blunders

NM Senator Flubs Unemployment Data — But Not Accidentally

New Mexico’s senior senator, Martin Heinrich, recently came out boasting on behalf of Biden’s work on the economy, tweeting, “When Joe Biden took office 18 MILLION Americans were on employment. Today it’s 2 million. #AmericanRescuePlan

It was a mangled message on several fronts. For one, he obviously meant “unemployment,” not “on employment.” For two, the data doesn’t mean anything that Democrats ought to be bragging about. Yes, 16 million fewer people are receiving unemployment benefits today compared to January 2021, but that doesn’t mean those people got jobs.

The talking point wasn’t likely accidental. There are few coincidences in politics. The fact that Heinrich is parroting the president’s own take on the issue indicates this misinformation is orchestrated, not accidental.

The tweet is a repeat of what Biden’s account tweeted out a few hours earlier.

So did Biden somehow get 16 million people off unemployment?

Technically yes, but if Democrats are suddenly bragging about kicking people off unemployment insurance, they should 1) check to see that those people found jobs, and 2) compare the 16 million performance to the last guy.

Turns out neither is particularly flattering to Biden.

Has Unemployment Fallen 80% In 10 Months?

It is true that 18 million people were on some kind of unemployment assistance as of January 2020, and by the third week of November, unemployment claims had fallen to the lowest level in 52 years!

If that seems remarkable, it’s not.

The number of Americans receiving jobless benefits peaked at 33 million in June 2020 following passage of the CARES Act, which offered federal unemployment insurance on top of state unemployment. By January, when Biden took over, only 18 million people were still receiving aid, meaning Trump oversaw 15 million people coming off unemployment in seven months.

Compared to 16 million off aid under Biden in ten months, the talking point is not all that spectacular.

And Biden did it with the help of the Federal Government, which in September ended the extra $300 a week per person in unemployment insurance offered under CARES. The number of people on unemployment benefits plummeted 55% in a single week after the CARES insurance expired.

Unemployment Is Low Because Employment Is Low

There’s a reason unemployment is low, but it’s not because employment is high. It’s actually the opposite.

Based on the total employment numbers and the workforce participation rate, millions of people who were laid off due to COVID then kicked off unemployment insurance this year did not return to the workforce.

Twenty-five million jobs were lost in the three months after COVID hit, when the government shut down the economy (at the recommendation of Dr. Fauci and his team of health “experts”). By January 2021, when Biden took office, total civilian employment had gained back 17 million of those 25 million lost jobs. Biden entered office with 150 million people in the workforce, which was still short of the all-time high of 158.7 million in February 2020.

Since taking office, Biden has overseen the return of another 5.1 million jobs (total employment currently sits at 155.1 million, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data). But those aren’t jobs that were “created.” They existed before the pandemic, were lost when the government shut down the economy, and then came back when restrictions were lifted.

Biden’s economy remains 3.5 million below the pre-pandemic jobs market.

Department of Labor report, 12/16/2021

When you factor in the 61.8% workforce participation rate — the lowest since 1977 — it becomes clear why unemployment is so low. It’s not because jobs have returned. It’s because workers haven’t.

So Why Are Democrats Bragging?

If all you can afford is a 2003 Saturn Ion, you drive it. With gas prices 50% higher than a year ago and inflation the highest it’s been since the 1980s, Democrats don’t have much economic news to brag about.

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