As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wind down, more and more states are starting to lift restrictions and allow businesses to reopen their doors. But while many expected this development to provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy, the latest numbers seem to suggest otherwise.
In a devastating blow to President Joe Biden and his efforts to bolster economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19, the numbers shown in April’s jobs report fell far short of expectations — and worse still, according to The Daily Wire, March’s numbers were just revised down.
Despite the setback, the White House is doing everything it can to paint the data in a positive light, with the president insisting that the economy is on the “right track.”
“Today, there’s more evidence our economy is moving in the right direction,” Biden said Friday, according to The Daily Wire. “This month’s job numbers show we’re on the right track.”
According to CNBC, analysts had boldly predicted that the April jobs report would show roughly 1 million new jobs added that month. Economists also expected to see the unemployment rate drop to 5.8%.
But the real numbers showed only around 266,000 jobs were gained in April, and the unemployment rate actually rose to 6.1%, as The Daily Wire reported.
The blow wasn’t softened any by revisions made to March’s numbers, which showed that just 770,000 jobs were added that month, rather than the 916,000 that was originally reported. The decrease was partially offset by a revision to February’s numbers that showed 536,000 jobs added, rather than 468,000, but that’s still not all.
According to The Daily Wire, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows some 9.8 million Americans remain unemployed. The unemployment rate for Black Americans was also said to be on the rise.
As economists grapple with the numbers, Biden is continuing to try to save face. In his Friday remarks at the White House, the president took a celebratory tone as he attempted to “put today’s jobs report in perspective.”
“When we came to office, we knew we were facing a once-in-a-century pandemic and a once-in-a-generation economic crisis. And we knew this wouldn’t be a sprint; it would be a marathon,” the president said. “Quite frankly, we are moving more rapidly than I thought we would.”
But Republicans including the House Ways and Means Committee’s ranking member, Kevin Brady (TX), don’t agree. In a press release shared by The New York Times, the Texas congressman said the White House is “in denial.”
“This is a stunning economic setback,” Brady said, “and unequivocal proof that President Biden is sabotaging our jobs recovery with promises of higher taxes and regulation on local businesses that discourage hiring and drive jobs overseas.”