Fact Checking President Biden’s Claims About Job Creation
A tweet lacks valuable context about all the job loss caused by the pandemic.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden tweeted that in his first year as president, his administration “created 6.4 million jobs,” calling it “the biggest year of job creation in American history.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the claim that job growth in the Biden administration has hit record levels—back in July 2021, the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, said that Biden had created 3 million jobs in his first five months in office, a claim The Dispatch Fact Check determined lacked context. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the economy during the latter stages of the Trump administration, causing large job losses that were then regained as the economy slowly began to reopen.
In February 2020, nonfarm employment in the United States was at 152,523,000 jobs. The stay-at-home orders and stringent lockdown restrictions of the early months of the pandemic caused nonfarm employment to dip to 132,994,000 in May 2020 before a loosening of restrictions caused employment to increase once again. By the time Trump left office in January 2021, nonfarm employment was at 142,736,000 jobs, 2,876,000 fewer than when Trump entered office and 9,787,000 fewer than the employment levels right before the pandemic began.
Economists are reluctant to pin job growth or losses on presidential actions, as much of what drives employment fluctuations is caused by factors outside the executive branch’s control, including policies implemented by predecessors. Some economists give Biden’s pandemic response credit for speeding up economic recovery, but much of the job growth that has occurred during the Biden administration has been a result ofthe natural rebound that occurred when pandemic restrictions were lifted. Shortly after Biden was sworn in, the Congressional Budget Office published The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2021 to 2031 and predicted the labor market would return to its pre-pandemic size by 2022 as “many people rejoin the civilian labor force who had left it during the pandemic.” Even with 6.4 million jobs regained thus far, nonfarm employment in the U.S. is at 148,951,000 total jobs, 3,572,000 fewer than employment pre-pandemic.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
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