Don't Let the Unemployment Numbers Mislead You

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Joe Biden’s relationship with the truth is not very good — particularly when it comes to the economy. According to him, he’s created 12 million new jobs, even though about 10 million of those jobs were lost during the pandemic, and the 2 million others haven’t even kept up with population growth.

“We’ve created 12 million — 12 million — jobs since I took office,” Biden has claimed. “That’s the strongest two years of job growth in history by a long shot.”

This doesn’t stop Biden from patting himself on the back any time there’s a jobs report that shows jobs up and unemployment down. Last month, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4%, which is the lowest level in 54 years. But if the economy is really booming, as Joe Biden and the Democrats claim, why is it that Americans aren’t feeling it? According to a recent poll, only 33% of Americans believe the economy is in good shape.

Related: Someone Tell Biden Inflation Is Accelerating

For sure, perception of the economy is often tied to partisan loyalties based on who the president is, but when only a third of the nation thinks the economy is doing well, then the negative perception of the economy clearly transcends partisanship — an undeniable problem for Joe Biden and his party. It’s not a great look to boast about the economy when most Americans are suffering.

“Thirty-eight percent of Americans also expect the economy to be in a recession next, and 24 percent believe that the economy will be slowing down, according to the poll,” The Hill reported earlier this month. Only 20% think that the economy will be booming soon.

For sure, several economic indicators are moving in the right direction, but economic analysts at JP Morgan suggest that recent jobless claims are not telling the full story.

The problem is that there have been significant, high-profile big tech layoffs in recent months at Google, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft, and yet jobless claims are down. Why is that? Google laid off 12,000 employees; Amazon laid off 17,000; Meta laid off 11,000; and Microsoft laid off 10,000.

“While rules vary by state, severance generally would either delay or reduce one’s eligibility for unemployment insurance,” JP Morgan analysts explain, “so people who were laid off and have been receiving severance may not have filed for unemployment insurance yet.”

That’s 50,000 big tech employees who aren’t filing for unemployment yet.

Related: FACT CHECK: Biden Distorts Economic Record During State of the Union

The JP Morgan analysts aren’t alone in the assessment that these large severance packages are distorting the economic picture.

“Announcements of layoffs, [in] particular in the tech sector, continue, but those job losses haven’t translated into a notable rise in claims,” Oxford economist Nancy Vanden Houten said. “That suggests that these workers are finding it relatively easy to find other jobs or are confident they will be able to do so.”

Meanwhile, Joe Biden and the mainstream media insist on pushing the narrative that the economy is roaring, that inflation is down, and that everything is just fine. They can point to all the statistics they want, but if Americans aren’t feeling it, those numbers don’t matter.


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