The astonishing miss Friday in September’s jobs numbers — only 194,000 jobs created, versus an expected 500,000 — was not only a shock to market expectations, but represents a crisis for President Joe Biden’s tax-and-spend economic policy.
For months, even when the jobs reports have been disappointing, the Biden administration’s economists have claimed that big spending was helping the U.S. economy, and that more big spending was the answer to accelerate the ongoing recovery.
But the economy is no longer responding positively — if it ever did — to Biden’s spending plans. Inflation is causing both consumers and investors to worry about the future. And Democrats’ plans for massive tax increases are adding to the stress.
Before Friday’s dismal numbers came out, economists were somewhat optimistic about what September would mean. The return to school was supposed to boost jobs in education; instead, those jobs rose even less than the usual seasonal average.
Likewise, the fact that many companies planned to return to their offices on September 1 was expected to boost new hires. And with unemployment benefits running out, many people were expected to enter the job market to look for work again.
Instead, many — especially women — left the labor force, or stayed out. The unemployment rate fell from 5.2% to 4.8%, with a large drop in black unemployment — but that was partly because there are fewer people seeking work than there should be.
Part of the reason may be the imposition of vaccine mandates. Though the number of employees being fired for refusing to comply with mandates is small, the mandates could be discouraging more workers from re-entering the workforce.
The regulatory confusion over vaccine mandates, booster shots, mask mandates, and other rules could also be contributing to an overall sense of economic uncertainty that is reflected in polls showing declining confidence in the country’s future.
No doubt, the Biden administration’s economists will celebrate the fact that the jobs numbers are (barely) positive, heralding another consecutive month of (anemic) recovery. And they will focus on the drop in the unemployment rate as a good sign.
Biden’s team will argue for more spending, as always, like the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” plan. But the September jobs miss is a sign Americans no longer trust Biden to spend our way to prosperity.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.