During a media briefing Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made a statement that has many scratching their heads.
While extolling the virtues of the Biden administration and how many jobs the White House has allegedly created, Jean-Pierre referred to the jobs report and stated that “ten thousand million jobs” had been created by Democrat policies. She never backtracked to correct herself on the figure.
Wowee that’s 10 billion jobs, that’s 30 jobs per American man, woman & child. Well done, Joe! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 https://t.co/OckW9KCV75
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) September 2, 2022
For the record, “ten thousand million,” in more common terms, equates to 10 billion. The current population of Earth is approximately 7.97 billion people.
The total population of the United States is currently about 333 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
So the press secretary has seriously misspoken. It would appear to someone taking her literally that Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden has created enough jobs to employ every man, woman and child in the United States many times over.
10 Thousand Million = 10 BILLION JOBS, Wow!
7.97 Billion people on Earth, that's a lot of child and infant labor and who are the other 2.03 Billion that are working at least two jobs..?
And no, she gets ZERO passes for misspeaking, she has ONE job… to speak!~
— Sig Leone (@ConsigliereXiv) September 2, 2022
Notably, according to CBS News, as of 2020, only about 4 percent of adult Americans hold more than one job, and typically this is a second job, not a 20th or 30th. “In June, 426,000 people were working two full-time positions, compared to 308,000 in February 2020, according to federal labor data,” they reported.
While the corrected figure of approximately 10 million jobs is being reported by many on social media and has been referenced by Biden, this figure doesn’t tell the full story.
President Biden: "The great American jobs machine continues its come back. American workers are back to work, earning more, manufacturing more, building an economy from the bottom up and the middle out. […] We have now created nearly 10 million new jobs since I took office." pic.twitter.com/prIEJkxWP8
— The Hill (@thehill) September 2, 2022
According to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reports, the total labor participation rate is at 62.4 percent as of August. Other than a dip during the COVID-19 lockdown, labor participation hasn’t been that low since 1977.
The labor participation rate, according to the St. Louis Fed, is “defined by the Current Population Survey (CPS) as ‘the number of people in the labor force as a percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population […] the participation rate is the percentage of the population that is either working or actively looking for work.’”
The rate fell as low as 60.4 percent in 2020, from its pre-COVID-19 rate of 63.4 percent, and has not yet recovered.
Aside from Jean-Pierre’s slip of the tongue, it’s questionable how much credit Biden deserves for the current job figures.
As Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight pointed out in 2017, “Presidents in any case have little control over the economy, especially in the short-term.”
This is a widely reported assertion from economists.
Chris Douglas, an associate professor of economics at the University of Michigan-Flint, told Marketplace, “Month-to-month job creation is just a function of the dynamic U.S. economy that’s bigger than one person.”
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