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Tag: jobs report

Fox News Hosts Gleefully Predicted Bad Jobs Report — And Were Dead Wrong

Experts predicted a bad jobs report but Americans were very pleasantly surprised when the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday reported 467,000 jobs were created in January – tripling estimates – and increased the two previous months' jobs numbers as well.

Most Americans, that is.

Take a look at how Fox News was "giddy with anticipation of massive job loss," as Media Matters' senior research fellow Craig Harrington noted, posting this video compilation:


"Fox News, rooting against America," decried Never-Trumper Bill Kristol.

"Real patriots don’t root for failure. But that’s exactly what Fox News does," wrote veteran journalist Jim Roberts in response to the video.

CNN Contributor and world affairs columnist Frida Ghitis: "How embarrassing, Fox rooting for bad news for the country."

John Haltiwanger, a senior politics reporter at BusinessInsider said Fox News was "Rooting for America to fail to own the libs."

And Lincoln Project member and veteran GOP campaign strategist Stuart Stevens wrote this response to the video:

"Most appealing aspect of Reagan era was optimism. To be born an American was to win life's lottery. Now Rs are all fear & pessimism. Grievance. Books are terrifying, America's great cities are terrifying. Immigrants are terrifying. The future is terrifying. A party of the fearful"

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Economy Near Full Employment With Seven Million Jobs Added Under Biden

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report for December 2021, which showed the U.S. economy regained 18.8 million jobs of the 20 million jobs that were lost at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.

More than 7 million of the jobs that have been regained since the start of the pandemic were added in the last year alone, according to the bureau's report. The U.S. economy has been steadily adding jobs over the past year as the country continues to dig out from the devastating toll taken by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bureau found that the country added 199,000 jobs in December, which was below estimates, while revising its previous jobs report numbers to add 39,000 jobs to its November 2021 report and 102,000 jobs to its October 2021 report.

The report, which was recorded before U.S. case numbers surged due to the virus's highly contagious Omicron variant, also showed a decrease in the unemployment rate from 4.2 percent to 3.9 percent between November 2021 and December 2021. Unemployment, which stood at 6.3 percent when Biden took office, declined more in 2021 than in any previously recorded year.

The latest jobs report comes after the U.S. Department of Labor revealed on Tuesday that 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November, setting a new record. The passage of legislation like the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March by President Biden with only Democratic votes in the House and Senate, provided benefits to millions of workers and families affected by the pandemic.

Experts have said that financial support has allowed workers to negotiate for better pay and working conditions as the economy has improved. Much of the turnover has been concentrated in low-paying jobs, as the tight labor market has given workers more leverage to seek better job opportunities.

"This Great Resignation story is really more about lower-wage workers finding new opportunities in a reopening labor market and seizing them," Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told The New York Times.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

New Poll Confirms Media Are Burying Us In Slanted Economic News

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

By a staggering ratio of six-to-one, Americans say they are seeing and hearing bad economic news more often than they are positive reports. The new polling results confirm the deep disconnect the media have constructed, as news outlets stress. discouraging news regarding the Biden economy, while often ignoring or downplaying the cascading positive developments.

Still committed to the GOP-friendly — and fictitious — storyline about a U.S. economy in decline, the press is damaging President Joe Biden’s approval rating by painting a false portrait of America. It’s doing the Republicans’ bidding — and the messaging is working.

Recently asked in a YouGov poll if they had “heard mostly positive or mostly negative news stories about the economy,” 48 percent of Americans said “mostly negative,” and just eight percent said “mostly positive.” (28 percent said both negative/positive, and 16 percent said they hadn’t heard much about the economy at all.)

Those results are stunning, considering how many positive economic developments are being generated. Just in recent days we’ve learned that gas prices will soon be falling, wages are hitting record heights for workers, and that weekly jobless claims haven’t been this low since Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock. Yet for most Americans, there’s only one economic story being told — a doomsday one.

The YouGov polling results come in the wake of a new media study that shows Biden is getting worse coverage than Trump did one year ago.

That nonstop stream of downbeat economic updates today has clearly influenced respondents in other ways. When asked “Which do you think is a more important problem facing the U.S. today,” just nine percent said unemployment, where the news was been consistently good this year, but has often been underplayed by the press. By contrast, 42 percent said inflation was the most important problem, a topic that the media have hyped without pause for nearly two months echoing Republicans’ loud, doomsday attacks on the Biden economy. (Remember that weird CNN milk story?)

“The nonstop hype of “inflation, inflation, inflation” unsurprisingly leads many people to believe inflation is a really big problem, even if their own finances are pretty good, because they hear all those wise reporters at CNN, NPR, the NYT and elsewhere telling them it’s a really big problem,” notes economist Dean Baker.

A new Associated Press poll confirms Baker’s claim. The headline: “Income Is Up, But Americans Focus on Inflation.” Why is that? Probably because Americans are inundated with the media’s obsessive inflation coverage.

It’s a “political nightmare for Biden,” CNN recently stressed, while the New York Times published well over 100 articles and columns that mentioned “inflation” three or more times last month. The Washington Post announced inflation is the “defining” challenge of Biden’s presidency. Why inflation? Because the press decided.

The reason inflation has sprouted in the U.S. is because consumer demand is booming as the economy has recovered from Covid faster and stronger under Biden than most people ever thought possible. That silver lining rarely gets mentioned, though.

Contrast the inflation coverage with the unemployment coverage. In the YouGov poll, asked what today’s unemployment rate is, just three in ten Americans could give an accurate response; approximately four percent. Nearly four in ten thought the rate was above six percent. (17 percent thought the U.S. unemployment rate was 10 percent or more.) Just one in three knew that the rate decreased last month. Would more Americans have a better idea about today’s improving unemployment picture if the press more accurately covered it? Yes.

When the October blockbuster jobs report was released showing nearly 550,000 positions created that month, and that revised estimates for September and August confirmed an additional 235,000 jobs had been created, NBC Nightly News that night made no mention of that fact. But when the November jobs report came last week out and showed a “disappointing” 210,000 jobs added, “NBC Night News” slotted it in as the day’s third most important story.

Last Friday, National Public Radio announced the 210,000-jobs report was a “bust” even though the unemployment rate tumbled from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent in just 30 days. And prior to Biden passing the Covid relief bill last winter, the CBO predicted it would take until 2025 for the U.S. to reach an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent. For NPR listeners though, the economic news last week was a “bust.”

This was all before Pfizer and BioNTech announced that initial lab studies show that a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine neutralizes the looming Omicron variant, which the press had been hyping as a possible grenade targeting the U.S. economy.

On Wednesday, the White House tweeted out an economic update: “The economy has added 5.9M new jobs since January — the most jobs added in the first 11 months of a year. Since January, unemployment has fallen from 6.3% to 4.2% — the fastest single year drop. 16M fewer people are receiving unemployment since POTUS took office.”

That’s not spin, those are the facts. We’re witnessing the Biden Boom. So why are news consumers being buried with bad news?

As Job Growth Doubles, Republicans Insist Biden ‘Failed’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Republicans spent Friday morning attacking President Joe Biden over the latest jobs numbers, suggesting the figures, which were slightly lower than predicted, constituted a failure.

The U.S. economy in fact added 559,000 jobs in May — more than double the number added the month before. The improving employment data comes as new unemployment claims have dropped to new pandemic lows in recent weeks, in the wake of Biden's American Rescue Plan and a successful COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Though the new job totals were slightly below the economists' predictions of around 650,000 new jobs, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent — better than those same economists' 5.9 percent expectation.

House Republicans tried to spin this progress as a great disappointment.

"Economy falls short of expectations with 559,000 jobs added in May," the official House Republican twitter account complained.

"As we emerge from the virus, our economy should be booming, but today's lackluster jobs report shows President Biden's policies have stalled our recovery," wrote House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "Bidenomics is bad for America."

"Yet again, President Biden's jobs report misses the mark - further proof that the Democrats' socialist economic agenda DOES NOT WORK," Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the House Republican Conference chair, tweeted.

"Joe Biden's economy misses again," tweeted Colorado Rep. Ken Buck. "This is what happens when you disincentivize work."

"The May jobs report missed the mark by 100k jobs. Enough is enough," saidRep. Barry Moore of Alabama. "It's time for Biden to stop incentivizing unemployment and get Americans back to work."

Without evidence, Republicans blamed disappointing April jobs numbers — added employment of just 266,000 — on the $300-a-week emergency unemployment insurance payments provided under Biden's American Rescue Plan, suggesting they were somehow encouraging workers to stay home.

But William Spriggs, the AFL-CIO's chief economist, noted that was not actually happening. "Labor force flow data show we are in a steady pattern of unemployed workers being able to land jobs. The early exits last Spring reflected the large share of temporary layoffs," he wrote. "The flat trend shows there is nothing related to UI benefit supplement changes."

After strong job growth under President Barack Obama, Donald Trump saw a net loss of about 3 million jobs during his term — the worst numbers since Herbert Hoover. While Trump presided over job growth prior to the coronavirus and its resulting economic shutdown, even his best month pre-pandemic was just 378,000 new jobs (in February 2018).

Biden has already regained a substantial number of the jobs Trump lost: more than 2.1 million in just four months.

He has also proposed an American Jobs Plan which would create and sustain millions more jobs over the next decade. Republicans have objected to it, instead offering just a small fraction of the new investments in infrastructure Biden requested.

Despite sustained GOP attempts to label Biden a failure, the American public is simply not buying it. A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, released last Monday, found that 62 percent approve of his job performance and the same number approve of his handling of the economy.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Stefanik’s First Leadership Speech ‘Wildly Inaccurate’ On Jobs

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a Trump acolyte, was just elected to replace booted House Republican Caucus Chair Liz Cheney. In her first speech minutes after securing her new leadership position Stefanik delivered a "wildly inaccurate" claim, CNN reported.

"We see the worst jobs report in over 20 years," Stefanik said.

"I just want to note something also that was just wildly inaccurate," CNN's Poppy Harlow said on-air after the speech. Stefanik was "talking about the economy, blasting this economy, saying we just got 'the worst jobs report in 20 years.' That is not true, not even close to true, we'll keep monitoring this we'll be right back."

One year ago America, under Stefanik's top supporter, President Donald Trump, America did see "the worst jobs report in U.S. history."

Listen to Stefanik's speech:

Republican Complaint: Workers Don't Flock To Poverty-Wage Jobs

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Republican lawmakers are blaming disappointing jobs numbers on unemployment benefits they claim incentivize employees to avoid returning to work — all while ignoring pleas for a higher minimum wage that might solve the supposed problem.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated on Friday that employers added 266,000 jobs in April — significantly less growth than the previous month — with the unemployment rate remaining almost unchanged at 6.1 percent.

Though administration officials say there is no evidence of a connection, Republican lawmakers were quick to blame this slowdown on the emergency unemployment benefits that were passed as part of President Joe Biden's COVID relief package, the American Rescue Plan. Because the federal government is giving jobless Americans an extra $300 a week, they argued, it must mean people are finding unemployment more lucrative than the jobs available to them.

"People don't want to go back to work. We've sent them so much money, that they compare what they could receive by staying home versus going back to work," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Kentucky public television on Sunday. "Every employer I've heard from in Kentucky is having trouble getting people back to work. Enough is enough!"

"Truth: 4 of 10 unemployed get more $ to stay home than work," Texas Rep. Kevin Brady tweeted on Sunday.

"The US economy can't recover from the pandemic if small businesses can't fill jobs bc able bodied adults are paid more by the gov't to stay home & collect unemployment," Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York claimed the same day.

Other Republicans blasted the unemployment benefits as nonsensical, suggesting the jobs numbers were avoidable.

"How can anyone expect job growth when we are paying people more money to stay home and do nothing with expanded unemployment benefits?" Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted. "Common sense tells you people will stay home if they're making MORE money that way than working!"

"For months, I've warned of the consequences of the federal government paying Americans more to stay home than go back to their jobs," tweeted Florida Sen. Rick Scott. "Now, businesses across Florida have reopened but are struggling to find enough workers."

And Texas Rep. Pete Sessions claimed in a tweet on Friday, "The slight uptick in the unemployment rate and minimal jobs added to the economy validates that the federal government's unemployment benefits disincentivize individuals from taking jobs. Why work when the government can pay you to watch Netflix?"

Some GOP-run states have responded to the hiring slowdown by reducing the unemployment benefits for their constituents, to supposedly force them back to work. The Republican governors of Arkansas, Montana, and South Carolina, for example, have moved to stop taking the $300-a-week federal subsidy and others are considering doing the same. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte tweeted Friday that "No-work bonuses won't get Americans back to work."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce demanded Friday that the federal government stop the subsidy entirely. "The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market," Neil Bradley, the trade group's executive vice president and chief policy officer, said in a press statement.

But while GOP lawmakers and lobbyists for big business are frustrated that people aren't scrambling to take low-wage jobs that don't pay a living wage, they seem uninterested in addressing the problem. Though some Democratic lawmakers have pointed to recent Republican backlash to argue for an immediate $15 federal minimum wage, the idea is wholly unpopular with conservative lawmakers.

Republican in the House and Senate, for instance, opposed such an increase earlier in the year.

Virginia Rep. Don Beyer, chair of the Joint Economic Committee, said in an email on Monday that it was "not surprising to hear some of those who opposed unemployment benefits all along trying to cast blame on this vital assistance for workers," noting that many of the job gains in April were in the leisure and hospitality sector — "the same sector that was the source of the anecdotes about supposed labor shortages."

In addition to getting everyone vaccinated, Beyer wrote, "Congress should work to ensure workers have access to affordable child care more and are paid a living wage; these and other policy changes in the American Jobs Plan and American Rescue Plan will fuel sustained growth that will benefit everyone."

Other Democrats have used the moment to make a similar push.

"It's crazy that people are not being able to make a fair wage that pays more than unemployment benefits," Rep. Ro Khanna of California told MSNBC on Friday. "What that says is we've gotta get to $15 wages in this country so people are able to make a living wage at their jobs and I think that would solve the issue."

"Don't blame the workers who aren't rushing back to frontline jobs to make $7.25/hour. Blame the companies who aren't willing to pay them a living wage," tweeted Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, urging colleagues to "focus on RAISING minimum wage instead of LOWERING unemployment benefits."

Experts agree that raising wages could be a boon to the economy.

David Cooper, senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, told The American Independent Foundation that with the economy still 8.2 million jobs behind pre-pandemic levels, it was not the time to be cutting back unemployment benefits.

"There are far more people looking for work and unable to find it than there are employers unable to fill vacancies, and pulling back on [unemployment insurance] will only slow down the recovery," he said. "To the extent that employers in some industries — like restaurants and leisure and hospitality — are having trouble finding staff, they need to take a hard look at the wages and quality of those jobs. Those industries are notoriously some of the lowest paying industries in the economy."

He added, "I don't think anyone should be surprised that some people might not be eager to take difficult jobs that are even harder now — and that might put their health at risk — if employers aren't offering better pay and benefits than they were offering prior to the pandemic."

"Many low-wage workers are being asked to do more — they're enforcing mask rules for customers and spending more time cleaning, but they're still only making $2.13 an hour plus tips," Lily Roberts, managing director for the Economic Policy Program at the Center for American Progress, said in an email.

"If their kids are in hybrid school or their childcare closed, they'll probably save money by staying home," she continued. "We can get people back to work by having safe and healthy workplaces, in-person care or education for kids, and fair pay for workers."

Michael Madowitz, a Center for American Progress economist, added separately, "We know higher wages bring people into the labor force, especially parents who need to earn enough to afford child care before they can take a job."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Predicted Slump Under Biden — But Markets And Jobs Are Surging

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Donald Trump often said ahead of the 2020 election that if Joe Biden were elected, gains in the stock market would be destroyed.

"If he is elected, the stock market will crash," Trump said in a presidential debate on October 22, 2020, one of dozens of times he made the claim during the campaign, according to transcripts gathered by Factbase.

Yet 72 days into Biden's first term as president, the stock market has not only gone up, but it has set multiple records, including on Thursday, when the S&P 500 surpassed 4,000 for the first time in history.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has also broken records multiple times since Biden was elected, beginning with the day Biden was sworn in. Since then, the Dow has surpassed 33,000 for the first time in history.

CNN reported in January that since Biden was elected in November, the stock market has had the "best post-election market performance for a new president in modern history."

The latest stock market surge follows the announcement of Biden's new infrastructure plan, which could be behind the record stock market performance. Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan would modernize the country's roads, bridges, and airports, as well as focus on modernizing infrastructure to help battle climate change.

The stock market news also comes as the vaccine rollout accelerates, and after Biden successfully pushed through a coronavirus relief package in March to help aid the economic recovery effort — without a single Republican vote in the House or Senate.

Experts predicted the relief package would bring "an almost immediate boost to the U.S. economy," the New York Times reported, with $1,400 checks and a $300 weekly increase to unemployment insurance likely to increase consumer spending as parts of the economy most hard-hit by the virus, including hospitality and tourism, began to show signs of life again with increased vaccinations.

On Friday, those predictions were bolstered when the Department of Labor announced that employers created a massive 916,000 jobs in March, including more than 200,000 jobs at restaurants, bars, and hotels. That's even more than the 675,000 jobs predicted in a survey done by Dow Jones last month, according to CNBC.

Stock market futures continued to rise Friday morning.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

There’s Little Joy In Trump’s Economy

The American people have been ordered to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the economic recovery. Note the lack of balloons, however, and that the marching bands have their feet up.

President Donald Trump, of course, is a brass section unto himself. He’s been trumpeting the “Trump economy,” even though nearly eight of those 10 years were under Barack Obama.

Consider this recent presidential tweet: “More people are working today in the United States, 158,000,000, than at any time in our Country’s history. That is a Big Deal!”

That is a good thing, but a big deal? No. First off, there are more people in the U.S. than ever before. More to the point, only 20,000 nonfarm payrolls were added last month. That prompted this sober headline from CNBC: “Job creation grinds to a near-halt in February.”

Stock investors have enjoyed a very nice run (as they did in the Obama years). But down in the trenches of blue-collar America, things aren’t nearly as hot. Factory workers are finding plenty of jobs, and their wages are creeping up. But solidly middle-class paychecks, once the pride of our manufacturing economy, have not returned.

The happy message clashes with reports that a record number of Americans died in 2017 from alcohol, drugs and suicide. These largely self-inflicted tragedies have been called “deaths of despair.”

Of course, it’s not only about money. The loss of strong families has left many troubled people bereft of help, love and solace when hopelessness takes over.

But add in threats to the government benefits important to working Americans, and you have major-league anxiety. Of special concern is the Affordable Care Act, which the Trump administration is doing its best to dismantle. For many families facing health crises, medical coverage is all that stands between making do and destitution.

Candidate Trump played the self-made billionaire, promising to do for struggling Americans what he did for himself. (Actually, his father gave him $413 million in today’s dollars.) Upon being elected, he continued to do for himself, while delivering daily pep talks to working folk.

His tax cut sent nearly all the benefits to the top incomes. The savings for the lower incomes were meager and designed to expire shortly.

It can’t be said that the tax cuts did nothing to goose the larger economy. They did, but that magic is about to expire. And by the way, it was all done with borrowed money.

The trade war spectacle has taken a bite out of the economy’s animal spirits. The marquee event is the battle with China. One hopes that Trump will succeed in stopping China’s very unfair trading practices: illegal government subsidies, biased regulations and theft of intellectual property.

But his announcement that China may guarantee purchases of U.S. soybeans sets off a long yawn. The Chinese were importing enormous shiploads of soybeans before Trump launched the trade war.

As a commodity trader told Bloomberg News, “The markets are a little tired of some of the ups and downs and the eight or 12-hour news cycle of tweets.” Oh, yes, the trade deficit — a Trumpian obsession — is now the highest in 10 years.

Trump routinely deafened Twitter with his promise of 4 percent growth in the economy. The gross domestic product hasn’t even passed 3 percent for any year. Better times, meanwhile, are not yet to come.

Economists see the economy softening, and the manufacturing sector seems to know it. “SC businesses brace for eventual recession,” says a pessimistic headline in The (Charleston, South Carolina) Post and Courier.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.