… created 2.4 million jobs over three months
As President Joe Biden strode to the podium in the White House on Friday, many expected him to take a “victory lap” as the country created nearly a million new jobs in July to go with 938,000 in June.
However, Biden’s response, while happy, was relatively muted because he knew that some people in America were trying to destroy the recovery.
The improvement was so great that one economics writer tweeted,
There is still a big gap in the labor market, but even with some slowing from this pace of job growth, we will be back to pre-COVID health by the end of 2022—a recovery *five times* as fast as the recovery following the Great Recession, thanks to the vaccine and to the ARP.
Covid has not ended because of anti-vaxxers
While the numbers are great economically, averaging 832,000 new jobs over the past three months, Biden was not ready to pounce on it because of the Covid numbers that are a result of those who refuse to take a vaccine,
President Joe Biden resisted the temptation to take a victory lap Friday following the release of strong July jobs numbers, instead telling the country that rising Covid cases pose an urgent threat to the economic recovery.
“My message today is not one of celebration,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “It is one to remind us that we have a lot of hard work left to be done, both to beat the delta variant and to continue the advance of our economic recovery.”
The highly contagious delta strain of Covid currently accounts for at least 80% of new infections nationwide.
Still, hiring rose last month at its fastest pace in nearly a year, despite fears over the delta variant and as companies struggled with a tight labor supply.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 943,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The payroll increase was the best since August 2020.
The number of new jobs beat economists’ expectations by nearly 100,000, and the unemployment rate fell three tenths of a percent lower than experts had predicted it would.
Christian Wilkie, “Biden skips victory lap after strong July jobs report, warns of
economic peril from rising Covid cases,” CNBC, August 6, 2021
Rise in Covid infections due primarily to anti-vaxxers
There is no doubt that the Covid pandemic, which appeared to be under control in the spring, is back in full mode because of one reason: The right-wing Republicans’ refusal to take the vaccine.
This is just plain stupid, but it could slow down the recovery, which was projected to include more than six percent GDP growth over the last six months of the year.
The resisters are objecting for a variety of reasons,
Experts list many reasons for the vaccine slump, but one big reason stands out: vaccine resistance among conservative, evangelical, and rural Americans. Pro-Trump America has decided that vaccine refusal is a statement of identity and a test of loyalty.
In April, people in counties that Joe Biden won in 2020 were two points more likely to be fully vaccinated than people in counties that Donald Trump won: 22.8 percent were fully vaccinated in Biden counties; 20.6 percent were fully vaccinated in Trump counties. By early July, the vaccination gap had widened to almost 12 points: 46.7 percent were fully vaccinated in Biden counties, 35 percent in Trump counties.
When pollsters ask about vaccine intentions, they record a 30-point gap: 88 percent of Democrats, but only 54 percent of Republicans, want to be vaccinated as soon as possible. All told, Trump support predicts a state’s vaccine refusal better than average income or education level.
David Frum, “Vaccinated America has had enough,” The Atlantic, July 23, 2021
Frum is a conservative former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, but he has been a fierce critic Donald Trump and his ilk in the party.
Biden touts the results by quoting Wall Street
While Biden did not take a victory lap, he did point out that what he has been doing has been praised by economists across the board,
In touting the strength and resilience of the economic recovery, Biden did something Friday that he rarely does: pointed to Wall Street analysts to validate his argument.
“What we’re doing is working,” he said. “Don’t take my word for it. The forecasters on Wall Street project that over the next 10 years, our economy will expand by trillions of dollars and will create 2 million good paying jobs.”
Christina Wilkie, CNBC, August 6, 2021
Biden’s America vs. Trump’s America
As Frum writes, the parts of America that supported Trump are those that are being supported by the counties and states that Biden carried,
As cases uptick again, as people who have done the right thing face the consequences of other people doing the wrong thing, the question occurs: Does Biden’s America have a breaking point? Biden’s America produces 70 percent of the country’s wealth—and then sees that wealth transferred to support Trump’s America. Which is fine; that’s what citizens of one nation do for one another. Something else they do for one another: take rational health-care precautions during a pandemic. That reciprocal part of the bargain is not being upheld.
Biden’s America is home to vaccine holdouts too. But state and local leaders in Biden’s America have spoken clearly and consistently about the urgency of vaccination. The leaders in Trump’s America have talked a double game: Like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, they urge vaccination one day, then the next they fundraise by attacking public-health officials such as Anthony Fauci. The consequence of DeSantis’s weeks of pandering to COVID-19 denial: More than one-fifth of all new COVID-19 cases in the United States are arising in the state of Florida—24,000 recorded on a single day, July 20.
David Frum, The Atlantic, July 23, 2021
The motivation of the Trumpies remains unclear. Some are just plain stubborn even as many of their friends and colleagues pass away from the disease in the red states. Others may want to destroy anything associated with Biden.
However, the economy is going to continue to grow this year, but the only question is how much.