Sure, the headline number in the December jobs report is terrible, but it’s not the number alone that signals a coming storm.
For the entirety of his presidency, Joe Biden has touted huge jobs numbers as proof that his anti-business, anti-energy, anti-American policies are working. Highlighting that he has created more jobs in one year than anyone else while ignoring the fact that these are jobs coming back after losses during the oppressive COVID lockdowns.
On top of the undeserved back-patting he’s giving himself, jobs weren’t a problem the economy needed to have solved. The United States has not been experiencing a jobs shortage, it’s dealing with a labor shortage. Ergo, Biden is claiming to solve a problem America doesn’t have and failing to fix the ones that it does.
Tight Labor Market
In the report today, the 199,000 jobs added were well below the experts’ forecast of 422,000. While a complete miss, that’s not the scary number. The unemployment number dropped to 3.9%, below the 4.1-4.7% considered full employment by the federal reserve. It is a terrible indication of an extremely tight labor market, continuing wage inflation, and increasing price inflation. If Biden thinks “$5 dollar hamburger” is bad now, he ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
In fact, the December report showed that wages increased 4.7% year-over-year – much lower than the most recent inflation figure that shows a 6.22% rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Prices are rising faster than wages and continuing wage pressures are sure to escalate the cost of… everything.
Lack of Workers
Compared to pre-pandemic levels, the U.S. economy is still 2.9 million employed people shy of the pre-lockdown number while 10.5 million job openings sit unfilled leaving the economy with a labor participation rate well below 2019.
Not Great Jobs
The last part of the report that is of concern is that the largest job growth came from jobs in “leisure and hospitality” instead of the better-paying jobs in healthcare, manufacturing, and construction.
The report is indeed a terrible showing for Biden and his policies. They are inflationary and don’t solve the real problems facing the economy.
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