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January 8, 2024

I reported Friday that a higher-than-expected 216,000 jobs were added in December, which set the Biden White House and its media water carriers to trumpeting the miracle of Bidenomics that the poor deluded public mysteriously fails to appreciate. I also pointed out that 55,000 of those new jobs were in government, which is hardly a good sign for a strong private sector economy.

Now, Matt Margolis has dug deeper into the numbers, and he warns that they’re not as rosy as depicted – in fact, they might even verge on “catastrophic.”

First, the unemployment rate of 3.7% did not go down. That’s 0.3% higher than last January and 0.2% higher than in the last month before the pandemic under Trump. Margolis points out that “there was also a 0.3 percentage point decline in both the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio,” meaning that “the percentage of the nation’s working-age population actually decreased in December,” despite it being a traditionally strong month for temporary hiring.

The hiring was mostly concentrated in just a handful of fields, including (as I noted) government, health care, social assistance and construction. Government accounted for 24% of nonfarm payroll jobs. While professional, scientific, and technical services added 25,000 jobs in December, that’s still far below the 2022 monthly average of 41,000. And “Employment in temporary help services declined in December, shedding 33,000 jobs, and has lost 346,000 jobs since March of 2022.” 

Biden touts himself as the great job creator by taking credit for every existing job people returned to after the COVID lockdowns ended. But even counting all those Trump-era jobs as his own creation, employment is still well below where it was trending before the COVID lockdowns disrupted it.

But here are the really catastrophic numbers: “According to the BLS, the number of full-time workers went from 134,727,000 in November to 133,196,000 in December. That’s a whopping 1.531 million decline.” And while the government reported 216,000 jobs added in December, the Zero Hedge website pointed out that “the far more accurate Household Survey showed that the number of Employed workers actually collapsed by an unprecedented 683K, the biggest drop since the US economy was shut down by COVID!”

This is why the spin from the White House and the media about the miracle of Bidenomics is about as effective as wheels spinning on ice. If you’re in government (and if you are, congrats on your big pay raise) or a green lobbyist or a highly-paid media talking head, the Biden economy is doing great for you. For everyone else, to paraphrase Larry L. King, they know when someone is urinating on their boots and telling them it’s a rainstorm.

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