President Joe Biden’s promise to “build back better” has hit a snag, as U.S. job growth has fallen far below economists’ predictions since Biden took office in January.
New data released by the Department of Labor show that the economy added only 235,000 jobs in August, far less than predictions economists made of 720,000. This is a sharp drop in job growth from the previous two months, when the economy added 962,000 jobs in June and another 1.1 million in July.
“That is what one would call a big, big miss,” CNN White House correspondent Phil Mattingly noted.
The unemployment rate dropped from 5.4% to 5.2%, in line with economists’ expectations.
“In August, employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged, after increasing by an average of 350,000 per month over the prior 6 months. In August, a job gain in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+36,000) was more than offset by a loss in food services and drinking places (-42,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.7 million, or 10.0 percent, since February 2020,” the Department of Labor reported.
“The labor market recovery hit the brakes this month with a dramatic slowdown in all industries,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist at jobs site Glassdoor, told CNBC. He went on to blame the rise of the Delta variant of COVID-19 for the stunted labor market performance.
“Ultimately, the Delta variant wave is a harsh reminder that the pandemic is still in the driver’s seat, and it controls our economic future,” he said.
Editor emeritus for the Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro, said that blaming the Delta variant for the slow economic growth is mistaken and that the incessant fearmongering from politicians is to blame.
“The problem is not the delta variant. The problem is the media, the Biden administration, and blue state politicians telling people to freak the hell out about the delta variant. This has resulted in the vaccinated freaking out and the unvaccinated acting as they always did,” Shapiro said.
“Americans divide into two groups: the worried and the unworried. Nearly the entirety of the worried are vaccinated, unjustifiably; most of the unworried are unvaccinated. It is the worried vaccinated who are calling for lockdowns and mandates and tanking the economy,” he continued. “That’s a big reason why 9 of the 10 best states for unemployment are red, and ~17 of the top 20. And it’s why all nine+DC of the worst are blue.”
The jobs report comes as record inflation hits the U.S. economy. The Department of Labor’s Producer Price Index recorded a year-over-year rise of 7.8% in July, the highest level ever recorded.