Schmitt: Biden’s job recovery


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Columnist Dawson Schmitt explains what is driving the current economic recovery and why Biden should not take credit for job creation — yet. 

Dawson Schmitt

Recently, President Joe Biden’s favorite graphic to promote on Twitter is his record “job creation” he averages each month, comparing it to former presidents. Yet, what Biden and his team are hiding is that his job creation is really a recovery. 

CNN Business reported Friday that Biden set a record for job creation in the first year of his presidency, adding 6.6 million jobs to the American economy. But his “historic and unprecedented” growth comes after a large recession. 

When former President Obama took office in 2008, the U.S. was in the midst of a recession, making his turnaround more difficult than Biden’s. Obama went on to have the worst first-year job creation in history, netting a loss of 4.3 million jobs. Eventually, the recession subsided under Obama, and the economy began heading toward tremendous growth and record unemployment.

Of course, when Donald Trump was elected, he was handed a stable and growing economy, but he kept the momentum going, adding another two million jobs during his first year as president. When the pandemic hit, the employment rate plunged, losing more than 20 million jobs. Since that recovery, we currently sit nearly 3 million jobs below the pre-pandemic peak, which signals a deficit that the Biden administration has yet to fill. 

So what has driven the astronomical recovery? It has likely been decisions made by the states, not the federal government. It was states shutting down during the beginning of the pandemic that sent jobless claims souring. It wasn’t until states began reopening that the economy began recovering near the end of 2020. Trump received backlash when he first began calling on states to reopen, but larger states such as California and New York were still experiencing rising cases that didn’t gain the confidence for governors to let up on restrictions.

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo didn’t decide to reopen fully until mid-2021, which helped bolster the already-recovering economy. The economy could have recovered in the absence of the American Rescue plan, especially after an additional $1,400 was pumped into the bank accounts of many Americans that did not need the added stimulus, further gearing up for more dollars chasing fewer supplies.

While Biden’s poll approval ratings are not benefiting from recent inflation concerns, mainstream media outlets are trying to help him hold onto numbers that can leave out critical information. They give us headlines like, “Biden-era job growth is so good, the GOP is literally speechless,” where Republicans are mocked when they are criticized for pointing out a disappointing jobs report during a few months of Biden’s presidency.

I’m not reprieving Republicans from saying Biden’s plan is not working. Biden’s plan is working; let the states run themselves. Even CNN, “the most trusted name in news,” points out that employment rates still sit below pre-pandemic levels. To give credit where it is due, I am thankful that employment and the economy continue to recover under Biden. 

Nonetheless, when the three million-job gap is filled, the president can start to take credit for job creation.