GOP governors tout lower unemployment rates under Biden


Since passage of the American Rescue Plan, unemployment has dropped to its lowest point since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Nine months after President Joe Biden took office, jobs numbers are way up — and even Republican governors are taking notice.

In recent days, several have bragged about the low unemployment they are now seeing in their states.

"Today I announced that West Virginia's unemployment rate is now the lowest recorded in state history!" tweeted Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday. "This is an absolutely historic accomplishment that all West Virginians should be incredibly proud of!"

"Since I took office, the number of Montanans on unemployment is down 90%. Montana is open for business," bragged Gov. Greg Gianforte, who was sworn in two weeks before Biden's inauguration.

"GREAT NEWS: Missouri's unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in September. Missouri continues to make a strong economic recovery!" cheered Gov. Mike Parson.

"We've seen evidence of renewed growth and job creation in our labor market numbers," Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts wrote. "Currently, our state's unemployment rate is 2.2%. That's the lowest rate in the nation and the lowest in Nebraska history."

This progress is being seen nationally. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of September, America's unemployment rate was just 4.8% — down from 6.3% in January and the lowest since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the nation's economy in March 2020.

On Oct. 14, the Labor Department reported its lowest weekly number of new unemployment claims since before the pandemic.

Despite these low rates, many congressional Republicans have accused Biden and his policies of failing to create jobs.

"President Biden's delusions have suggested for months his economic plan is 'working.' Anyone who saw today's jobs report knows it's failing," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy charged after the job numbers were released on Oct. 8. "Democrats have turned what should have been an economic resurgence coming out of the pandemic into an economic crisis."

"The Biden Economy is failing America," claimed Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann on Oct. 8.

"Today's disappointing jobs report is more evidence that President Biden's economic agenda is failing the American people," agreed Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan.

But the numbers would seem to indicate it is succeeding.

Biden promised on Feb. 5 that if Congress enacted his American Rescue Plan, it would spur the creation of millions of new jobs: "Just look at what leading economists across the nation have said — and the world, and across the ocean have said. Wall Street investment firm Moody's says if we pass the American Rescue Plan, it will lead to 4 million more jobs than otherwise would be created. ... Look, just this week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that if we don't take action, it would take until the year 2025 to return to full employment."

And so far, his approach has apparently worked: In the eight months since Biden took office, the economy has added almost 5 million new jobs.

That means Biden has more than made up for the net 3 million American jobs lost during former President Donald Trump's single term in office.

The two Biden proposals currently being considered by Congress — the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better jobs package and the $550 billion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — would, according to a report published on Sept. 16 by the progressive Economic Policy Institute, "provide fiscal support for more than 4 million jobs per year, on average, over the course of the 10-year budgeting window, through direct spending and increased indirect demand in related industries."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.