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Biden is not “creating” jobs … and the numbers prove it

Biden is not “creating” jobs … and the numbers prove it

In a previous commentary, I have explained why Biden’s “great economy” is not so good for the average citizen.  There is one issue that is less appreciated and rarely covered in the news media.  It is the nature of those new jobs for which Briden takes credit.

Overall, job creation under Biden has been sluggish despite his protestations to the contrary.  Virtually all the jobs he claims to have “created” were simply jobs that returned as the Pandemic ended.  In the three-plus years since the end of the Pandemic and the inauguration of President Biden, we have yet to achieve the number of workers that we had prior to the Pandemic. 

In February of 2020 – the start of the Pandemic — 159 million Americans were employed out of a population of 260 million eligible workers – 61 percent of eligible workers.  While the number of eligible workers has increased by more than one million, the number of workers has yet to reach pre-Pandemic levels.  We currently have 152 million workers – or 58 percent of eligible workers. That means we have seven million fewer workers than we did in 2020 — and a two point drop in the percentage of eligible workers. 

So far, Biden has not created any NEW jobs in the traditional sense.  The jobs increases that Biden brags about are nothing more than businesses simply re-filling the jobs that were eliminated by the Pandemic shutdowns.

But if you get into the weeks, the jobs situation is not even as good as the job reports may suggest – or as Team Biden spins them.  A lot of the jobs are government workers – or jobs subsidized by government funds.  They are not private sector jobs that are the result of consumer demand.

Unless you are an acolyte of the Big Brother/Keynesian economy, you are more than a little wary of the economic and political meaning of huge growth in government jobs and government-subsidized jobs.

The government added an average of more than 57,000 jobs per month in 2023.  For some reason that does not include jobs in education – as if public school teachers are not government employees. Despite the Pandemic’s negative impact on the private sector economy, government employment increased significantly.  In fact, it reached a record high in 2023 of 22,490,000 workers – and is expected to surpass the 24,000,000 mark in 2024.

That also does not count government-subsidized jobs – as is the case with the Biden Infrastructure Bill, which spends $1.2 trillion on public works construction projects over the next years – or $240 billion per year.  The misnamed Inflation Reduction Act spends another $891 billion over ten years – or $89 billion per year.

Of course, we need government workers – and we do need government to use private sector contractors to a degree.  And that is the eternal philosophic debate.  How many government workers do we really NEED?  And what is the appropriate level of private sector contracting?  One thing we should all be able to agree upon is that we have already exceeded the appropriate levels of government employment and subsidies.  We need to cut government spending – especially at the federal level.

Public Sector Jobs v. Private Sector Jobs

So … what is so bad about creating public sector jobs – or funding private sector contractors to work on government projects—as opposed to jobs in the private sector. Simply put, just about everything.   But to be specific:

  1. Increases in government jobs – and government subsidies of the private sector – require government spending, and that means either increasing taxes, printing more money (inflation) or more borrowing.  It increases budget deficits that increase the National Debt.

To put that into historical perspective, the National Debt in 1980 was 52 percent of the GNP.  Twenty years later, in 2000, it was 57 percent – a five percent increase in twenty years.  It has almost doubled in the past 20-plus years.  And it is on track to keep increasing relative to the GNP.  That means economic disaster unless we take drastic action immediately to change the trend to a declining trajectory.

  • Government spending is by far the least efficient, less productive, more wasteful and most costly when compared to private sector spending.  It is basically the lack of supervision of spending.  Without competition and the need to address profits, there is an incentive to apply fiscal responsibility.  The Washington political and bureaucratic operates on the benefits of spending without sufficient concern as to the source of the money.
  • Government spending is not based on consumer demand – people influencing demand — but on the arbitrary decision of government officials.  Example: Solyndra.  That company was given more than $500 million in loan guarantees by the Obama administration to develop solar energy technology that had no consumer market at the time.  The company went bankrupt and Uncle Sam lost everything but $24 million from the selling off of company assets. You are seeing the same thing in terms of electric vehicles.
  • Government spending is used to maintain constituent political loyalty through perceived benefits for competing interest groups.  They are too often designed to win voter support than provide essential needs.  In other words, politics trumps needs in the decision-making process.
  • Government jobs tend to be permanent.  They are not responsive to changing economic conditions. Rather they exist based on rigid rules, (union) contracts, tenure and political considerations.
  • Government requires contractors to be unionized – needlessly increasing the cost to taxpayers.  It is basically compulsory unionism.
  • Government employment and contracting often drives the more economically more beneficial private sector out of the market.
  • It expands the power and authoritarianism of the central government – making the will of an elitist government establishment dominant over the will of the people.

Biden’s bragging about all those jobs he claims he has “created” is just another example of the adage that “figures do not lie, but liars figure.”

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

8 Comments

  1. Frankbstetson

    There is not a chart out there showing more jobs today than pre pandemic.

    BUSTED.

    The crossover point was about September of 2022.

    BUSTED again

    The discussion about job quality, public vs private sector is a red herring tangent off topic to the quantity of jobs. . And what does potential, not proven, government mismanagement of infrastructure’s contracts have to do with the number of jobs except potentially, not proven, to create even more jobs. Useless facts for filler.

    Somebody’s getting nervous and dragging out all his greatest hits. Bring on the stereotypes! Can tax and spend be far behind the nanny state forcing political correctness by law usual crappolla

  2. JoeyP

    How can you “brag” about something you’ve “created” when it has already existed, waiting to come out?!?

  3. FRANK STETSON

    Because

    1. There are more jobs today, more people working, than under Trump.
    2. There are more jobs today, more people working, than before the pandemic, we crossed that about 9/22.

    Not sure how Horist is concluding what most other statisticians conclude the exact opposite. \

    oooops, my previous thread was a clusterfrack when it said “There is not a chart out there showing more jobs today than pre pandemic.” and it should have read: There are no charts out there showing less jobs today than pre pandemic. All the charts I see show more jobs today than in the pandemic with the crossover being about 9/22.

    • Jim wampler

      You’re a lying bastard

  4. Darren

    Did anyone account for the at least 10 million new residents NOT working but draining our society?
    All on Biden!
    Guess the Elites needed NEW Slaves!

    • FRANK STETSON

      Darren, as much as I want to slam you for the 10M, fact is trying to determine these numbers is difficult and our journalists, government officials, interested parties, are all just fucking with the numbers and our heads for God knows what reasons. Both parties, Independents, whatever. Frankly, we are being lied to by all sides for all sorts of reasons where in the end, no one seems to want to do anything, much less the right thing.

      This goes away overnight if we make E-Verity loophole free and the law of the land. PERIOD. That’s it. It IS that SIMPLE. Overnight, any illegal working here will need a new job, in another country.

      Meanwhile we toss stupid statistics with maximum spin to somehow profit where you can’t even follow them money. Oh, it’s the borders, it’s the sanctuary cities, it’s the dreamers, it’s the bussers, the druggies and sickies and terrorits oh my.

      It’s that stupid. Pur E-Verify in place, make it work, and it all goes away.

      The 10M new illegals numbers in this one come from total number of encounters under Biden, 8.5 million plus the swag on gotaways at 1.5m, thus 10m, a bogus number because encounters do not equal access to US —- like over a two-thirds immediately expulsed and of those who remain, about two-thirds of them get denied asylum and must leave.
      This is not your fault; the statistics are clear as mud with little consistency from those reporting. How you go from encounters to “living in America” astounds me. But since, for God knows what reason, we do not count illegals-living-in-America, the available data does not really support determining what it might be.

      Haley and DeSantis put it at 8m. Everyone shot those down.

      So far, none of the professional immigrant estimators have moved the 10M illegals in America number that has been a stable statistic for a few years and certainly none of them have added 10M new illegals to it, like you did. The number is encounters and would never make it to “illegals living in America” without severe downsizing.

      There have been 3.6M removals, expulsions and returns under Biden to merge against your 10M encounters. And remember, encounters and removals both are EVENTS, not people. An event may cover the same person from other events since Trump’s law created a revolving door with no additional penalty for trying over and over. Biden has not fixed this loophole either.

      FOX news puts the number at 7.2M. However, these too are also encounters, 66% of which are expulsed immediately so erase those. A total of 25% of the encounters are repeat offenders, ie. They were counted in 2023 and 2024, same person, so lower those – same person, probably expulsed, again. Apprehensions, which can turn into folks being released to America awaiting trial, is about 34% of encounters; that’s the number you want. Now temper that by number who don’t get final asylum — that’s about 63% under Biden, so subtract those. Thus, 34%, 7.2M = 2.4M minus the ones never getting asylum, that’s like 1.4M so a total of 1M now + the gotaways, let’s use 1.5M = 2.5M additional illegals in America might be derived from the 7.2M encounters.

      The 2.5M then has to be factored down by:
      – Number who left, died, are not hear no more (more leave during recessions, pandemics, etc.
      – Number ICE takes out that have been here awhile, it’s down under Biden so about .5M total.
      – Number that go down for crimes and then are deported, not sure that number

      Point is that number of illegals living here is a freakin mess to compute, the numbers are soft, the definitions overlapping, and, apparently, no one from either party cares to get it right.

      I keep saying: Just make E-Verify the law of the land, fix the loopholes, and this problem goes away overnight. It’s that simple, Republicans have the bill in their hands, they wrote it, think they may have some Dems signing on, just do it. Cut the freaking bill away from all the other shit, and just make E-Verify the law of the land and then —- make it work. I just don’t know why we talk about a wall, dreamers, etc. when the illegal worker issue can just be taken off the table. This is all parties, and everyone in between at blame, and it’s so royally screwed up that each party can be going all ways to Sundays even inside their own party. AFU’d for sure.

      I honestly don’t get it in that we can make this a nit of a problem, literally overnight. E-Verify.

  5. Mike f

    Larry, Love your last statement “figures don’t lie, but liars figure” because in this case you are the liar. Based on data from US bureau of labor statistics, there are currently 161 million people employed-not the 152 million you state. 6 million are unemployed at this time (Jan 2024). So yes, there have been millions of jobs added by the Biden administration. The rest of your tome is simply fluff, trying to back up your emotional contention “democrats bad, republicans good”. Yet again I am calling you out for bullshit you have written. The question is-why do you do this, or do you just enjoy being branded as an ignoramus?

  6. lyin biden

    everything the dmeocrats / Biden have done has caused more problems then help.

    The Democrat party has destroyed american.