The latest jobs report shows that President Joe Biden is already leaving his imprint on the economy. Job growth was “unexpectedly” slow, and unemployment climbed, despite a massive shortage of workers.
When the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the jobs numbers for April, the press seemed stunned. Only 266,000 jobs were created, which is 800,000 below forecasts. The job creation number for March had to be revised down by 146,000. And unemployment ticked up for the first time since the lockdown.
The New York Times said that “Jobs Report Shows Surprising Slowdown in Hiring.” Another said “New Jobs Report Shocks Experts With Unexpected Hiring Lag.”
Biden himself felt the need to defend himself on Friday, saying that the economy is improving despite the lousy numbers, tried to convince the public that the recovery would be a slog (while also bragging about how great he’s doing), and said more government help is needed.
The fact that anyone is surprised by the jobs numbers, or that anyone thinks more government intervention is needed, would shock us if we weren’t so used to rampant economic illiteracy.
First, the economy didn’t need rescuing. It was recovering faster than anyone expected long before Biden got the keys to the White House. The GDP snapped back. The jobless rate fell quicker than expected. The cash payments included in the CARES Act and the follow-up that President Donald Trump signed were giving consumers plenty of money to spend.
But Biden, his fellow Democrats, and their handmaidens in the press didn’t want anyone to know this before the election, and kept talking the economy down after the election to justify their massive spending plans.
Biden claims that the American Rescue Plan is working wonders. But the only measurable impact has been to turn a surprisingly robust recovery under Trump into one that is showing signs of being surprisingly sluggish.
For anyone who still doesn’t know why job growth fell so far short of the mark in April, the reason is painfully simple and glaringly obvious: Biden and his party decided to extend the worst COVID idea of them all: bonus payments to people on unemployment.
As part of Biden’s “American Rescue Plan,” the Democrats included a $300 weekly bonus to those on unemployment that runs until September. The plan included various other handouts that are letting the jobless live comfortable lives at the moment.
How else can you explain that businesses are desperately trying to hire workers – in February there were 7.4 million job openings – while the unemployment rate is climbing?
When you pay people more to stay at home than you do to show up for work, why is anyone astonished that lots of people choose to collect checks for doing nothing?
So, at the moment, the country faces expanding shortages of everything from lumber to chlorine, rising prices (which many economists warned would result from Biden’s spending spree), added costs of doing business (some companies are paying people just to show up for job interviews), while vast numbers of eligible workers sit at home.
The Foundation for Government Accountability’s Sam Adolphsen had it right when he said that “The American Rescue Plan isn’t a life raft, it’s a millstone.”
This is Bidenomics in a nutshell, and it won’t end well. The media and all the “experts” might be shocked when the bad tidings come, but you shouldn’t be.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board