The job numbers that came out on Friday were exceptional. Again. Under President Joe Biden, the unemployment rate has reached a new 50-year low, and it has uplifted communities of workers normally left behind.
Justin Wolfers, Professor at The Economics Department of the Univesity of Michigan wrote about the new job numbers,”Hang on, I’ve just calculated the unemployment rate to extra decimal places, and December’s rate of 3.468% is a new 50 YEAR LOW, the lowest rate since 1969.”
Household survey shows a bonkers rate of job growth (+717k) bringing it closer to the remarkable recent growth in the payrolls survey.
Over 2022, the household survey shows total job growth of 3.2m, while the payrolls survey says 4.5 million jobs were created. Either is 🔥🔥🔥
Lemme take back my earlier tweet… Wage growth of 0.27% this month is an annualized rate of 3.4%, and if that persisted, our inflation problems would dissipate. The Fed should be *very* happy that this month’s wage numbers are unlikely to be inflationary.
Lemme draw a line under today’s jobs report: Rapid job growth, record low unemployment, and wage growth running at levels likely to cool inflation is an astonishing trifecta of good news.
Oh, you say this isn’t interesting when the Republicans are over there in the House performing their lowest clown show yet? That might be a problem.
It would be a huge disservice to the working class to ignore this good news, to fail to tell the story about the Biden economy, based on Biden/Democratic values and policies.
The White House sent a statement to PoliticusUSA calling attention to the fact that many of these gains impacted folks usually left behind:
Unemployment is near record lows for Black and Hispanic Americans.
The unemployment rate is at a record low for people with disabilities.
Hourly wages were up 0.3% in December, following five months in which real wages rose.
Manufacturing employment continued to grow, with 8,000 manufacturing jobs added last month for 750,000 total manufacturing jobs created since Biden took office.
The labor force grew as labor force participation continues to grow more quickly in this recovery than past ones, especially for prime age workers.
750,000 manufacturing jobs — that is a huge deal. That is what Trump promised and failed to deliver.
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On Thursday, President Biden was in Kentucky to celebrate and champion his bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Biden pointed out that the law is “…we’re doing all this with American workers and American products that are made in America. It’s a simple concept. I can sum it up in two words: Buy American.”
“I don’t sign anything that the Congress passes unless it’s buying of something American.”
Biden said “(W)e’re making sure that the iron, steel, construction materials that they’re building in this bridge are made here in America, in the United States — made in Ohio, made in Kentucky — employing thousands of people all by itself.”
And here we come to the part about unions. Unions can be seen as an antidote to encroaching authoritarianism in many ways, because they empower workers against the oligarchs and go a ways toward inoculating people from the desperation that makes them vulnerable to conspiracies and charlatans.
“And that work we’re going to do largely and it’s being largely done by unions. Not labor, union. I can say the word “union.” (Applause.) Laborers, electricians, carpenters, cement masons, ironworkers, steelworkers, communication workers, autoworkers, and so much more. These are good jobs you can raise a family on, and most don’t require a college degree.”
“All of this is about making an investment in America’s Heartland, in America’s people, in America’s future.”
The heartland. “Flyover country.” The land forgotten. The land where Trumpism unexpectedly took root.
America’s greatest generation understood the importance of buying American. It means well-paying jobs, it means a working class that can buy a home and have a sense of financial security as they age. It means dignity for the working class.
If we don’t discuss how this happened, if we fail to acknowledge it and celebrate a huge win for the working people of this country because we are allowing dysfunctional Republicans to suck up all of the oxygen in the newsroom yet again, we set the stage for another Trump.
Where we put most of our focus is what gets elevated. We need to train ourselves to focus on what is working as well as what is broken, or we are ripe for another astroturfed, fake populist puppet.
Chris Hayes pointed out that this is an opportunity for the left to tell a story about this economy like the right told about Reagan, “Obviously inflation remains elevated and it’s not like all the problems of American capitalism have been solved – far from it! – but really feels like this should be an opportunity for left/liberals to tell a story about this economy like the one the right told about Reagan.”
President Biden said in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA, “Today’s jobs report shows that the economy added 223,000 jobs last month—capping the two strongest years of job growth in history. This is just the latest sign President Biden’s economic plan is working as we continue to transition to more steady, stable growth without giving up all the historic gains achieved for American workers.”
Joe Biden is the Left’s Reagan.
Biden has changed the lens of the economy to focus on the working classes rather than Reagan’s “trickle down” theory.
Republicans are still clinging to the disproved “trickle down” theory because it justifies huge economic welfare being gifted to the wealthy and corporations. This is accomplished by deregulating corporations and giving even more tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations, under the guise that it would magically trickle down… one fine day.
As we saw when Trump and Republicans did this in 2017, it did not work. Yet, this is still a country brainwashed to believe in bootlicking the top 1% to such an extent that we are fine with huge government contracts and tax subsidies being given to bad actors while hard-working Americans can’t even afford daycare for their kids.
This is a fundamental change, with long-term ramifications. Joe Biden managed somehow to get some 19 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats and Independents to pass his infrastructure bill in the Senate. A mere 13 House Republicans managed to muster the care for investment in our country’s infrastructure and manufacturing jobs, but even that was an accomplishment given the state of the modern-day Republican Party.
The majority of House Republicans have committed to obstructing every single thing this President does, and even to impeaching him over conspiracies. They will do so in a stance against good paying jobs in America, against investing in our own country, and against economic security for the working classes.
Joe Biden has always been a champion of working people. He has made good on the broken Trump promise to the economically left behind. This will change people’s lives for years to come and it deserves recognition and it needs to be championed, if we want it to continue.
Joe Biden: The President who actually made it trickle down, by doing the opposite of Reaganomics.
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.