If White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s closing statements of the year on the state of the US labor market are anything to go by, the upcoming year-end jobs report will be a combination of fantasy and fudging the numbers, with a soupçon of tomfoolery thrown in for flavor. Hot on the heels of an announcement that President Joe Biden has created 29 million new jobs since entering office – “every job lost in the pandemic, plus almost 15 million more jobs” – the latest data will almost certainly be spun with great alacrity.
Bidenomics’ Record Jobs Numbers
Over the past year, the White House repeatedly claimed that Biden had generated 14 million new jobs. This number was debunked by Liberty Nation and even the president’s own allies in the mainstream media. Now, it appears the administration is doubling down on its dubious assertion. The incumbent regime has ostensibly embraced the words of Seinfeld’s George Costanza: “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” Or maybe all the president’s men and women believe that if the deception is duplicated enough, the public will accept it without a fight.
Jean-Pierre took the labor data to a whole new level at her final powwow of 2023 with the media. Her latest claim, which did not receive any pushback from the obedient folks in the press briefing room, is that more than 14 million jobs have been created under Biden, plus an extra 15 million positions, since 2021. Where did all these employment opportunities suddenly appear? Did the magical statisticians inside the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) insert a new formula in their Excel spreadsheets? It is wizardry at its best.
This is nonsense of the foulest order and déjà vu all over again. So, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there were 158 million employed individuals. This number crashed to below 134 million in April 2020. It took until August 2022 for these lost jobs to be recovered, meaning anything after this month is counted as new. The Biden team has been a sneaky lot by including the regained pre-crisis jobs in its calculations. Therefore, it is more accurate and honest to say that the current president has created between four million and five million new jobs.
The press secretary’s assertion that 29 million new jobs have been created is outright embarrassing for her, the administration, and the mainstream media that will fail to fact-check this egregious claim.
Borrowing From the Best
It has been said that if you have to steal, then steal from the best. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and BLS number crunchers are some of the most outstanding individuals in the nation at gathering, calculating, and publishing data. They are so good that a sizable number of jobs vanish from the economy month to month, GDP reports are revised lower years later, and inflation is adjusted higher when nobody cares anymore.
It is safe to say that 2023 has been a year of revisions. The federal agencies that share these statistics with the public note that the data are adjusted after more information arrives. However, the frequency and size of amendments to the employment information have been questioned by many economists and market analysts who study this stuff for a living.
A December to Dismember
The United States will not have a complete picture of the labor market until January 5, 2024. This is when the December jobs report is released. Early estimates suggest that 150,000 new positions will be created, the unemployment rate will jump to 3.9%, and average hourly earnings will be flat. The headline numbers will be the main event for financial markets and the White House. The revisions and the household survey portion of the widely watched report will be chief entertainment for everyone else. Meanwhile, it will likely be more of the same: millions working two or more jobs, a decline in full-time employment with a jump in part-time jobs, and a nation that has still not seen labor force participation return to pre-COVID levels.