Sunday, June 20

Bad job data calls into question Biden’s bailout


New York Correspondent

Updated:

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Joe Biden celebrated as its first great legislative victory the approval of the last rescue package against the pandemic of Covid-19 last March. Republicans in Congress rejected it as a bloc for being too broad and for maintaining generous subsidies that could jeopardize the recovery of the labor market. Now, after the presentation of the April employment data, they have arguments to defend that they were right.

Yesterday Friday it was known that the US economy added 266,000 jobs in April, an amount well below analysts’ expectations and putting the brake on the recovery of the labor market. With these data, unemployment remains at 6.1%, one tenth more than in the previous month.

Some forecasts put growth at more than one million jobs, which would have been the definitive boost to the US economic recovery after the devastating crisis last year. In addition, official data correct down the significant growth of March: instead of the 916,000 jobs that were added, they remain at 770,000.

The data is a cold jug in the American job market. One year after the bleeding of March and April last year, when the country lost 22.3 million jobs due to the pandemic and the restrictions associated with it, there are still more than eight million jobs to recover.

The readings of why it costs the US – a dynamic economy that tends to recover quickly from crises – to stabilize its labor market are mixed. In recent months, as millions of Americans maintained unemployment benefits of $ 300 a week, in addition to occasional paychecks and other aid, calls have grown from the business sector that those conditions made hiring difficult. “If you delve into the employment report, everything we have heard anecdotally from employers is confirmed,” he assured in an interview with ‘The Washington Post’ Neil Bradley, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce. “Employers, frankly, are competing with a very generous unemployment system.”

A waiter takes customers' orders at a Mexican restaurant in Washington
A waiter takes customers’ orders at a Mexican restaurant in Washington – Efe

“Paying people not to work is weakening a job market that should be stronger,” said Bradley, whose body has called for the removal of unemployment benefits. Two states, Montana and South Carolina, have decided to end them unilaterally.

Others assure that the explanation of the bad data is more complex and includes the greater child care needs, the fact that millions of children have not returned to school due to the pandemic or the persistence of fear of being infected with the virus.

“There is no doubt that there are companies that say they have difficulties finding workers,” acknowledged the Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen. “But I don’t think that additional unemployment compensation is really the factor that makes the difference.” Yellen made the remarks in a joint appearance with Biden, who asked for patience with the bad employment data and said that the recovery “will not be a sprint. , if not a marathon ». “There are still millions of people in economic difficulties,” defended his Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh.

Political weapon

Disappointment with the job market became a political weapon for Republicans. “It is the result of the federal government encouraging people to stay home instead of looking for work,” said the senator. Kevin Cramer. Republicans have also warned that Biden’s proposed tax hike to fund his huge spending plans will also affect the job market.

The Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, used labor data, however, to justify those spending plans. “We see new evidence that working women and parents are the hardest hit by the economy, we must invest in human infrastructure,” he said about the proposals to finance childcare, medical and maternity leave or pre-child education.

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