This past Monday, President Joe Biden seemed to give out conflicting messages during his remarks that he made about last week’s disastrous jobs report numbers. He stated that there was, in fact, no real evidence that people had taken to refusing to return to work as a response to getting a large swath of government benefits while constantly reiterating that people are needed to and should start returning to work if they receive a job offer.
At the start of the press conference, Biden made a few misleading statements about the growth of the economy under his watch. These remarks cropped up after the jobs report for April stated that the economy missed expectations by upwards of 700,000 jobs, and the numbers on jobs taken from March were greatly revised down.
“As we learned Friday, the economy created 266,000 jobs in April,” Biden stated. “In fact, altogether, since the time we took office, we’ve created more than 1.5 million jobs in the country. It’s the most jobs created in the first 100 days of any president on record, more than three times the solid job creation President Carter saw in his first 100 days and more than six times what President Reagan saw. And the three months before I got here, our country was creating roughly 60,000 jobs a month.”
This past Friday, Glenn Kessler, a fact-checker on staff at the Washington Post, fired criticism at Biden yet another round of misleading claims when Biden tweeted an infographic that compared the job growth during the first three months of his presidency to the same time frame of former President Donald Trump.
“It’s totally ridiculous to pretend that jobs growth in the early months of a presidency has much to do with administration policies,” Kessler stated.
It's totally ridiculous to pretend that jobs growth in the early months of a presidency has much to do with administration policies.
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) May 7, 2021
On Monday during his remarks, Biden seemed to hand out a set of conflicting remarks about what was actually happening. He implied that the receiving of substantial government benefits was, in fact, not the reason that people were refusing to return to any jobs. He went on to constantly reiterate that those who are getting government aid must return to work if they receive an offer for a job.
“We’re going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment, who is offered a suitable job, must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits,” Biden stated. “There are a few COVID-19 related exceptions, so that people aren’t forced to choose between their basic safety and a paycheck, but otherwise, that’s the law. I know there’s been a lot of discussions since Friday’s report that people are being paid to stay home rather than go to work. Well, we don’t see much evidence of that.”
“We don’t see that [stammers] … look, it’s easy to say, the line has been, because of the generous unemployment benefits, that it’s a major factor in labor shortages. Americans want to work,” Biden stammered. “I think the people who claim Americans won’t work, even if they find a good and fair opportunity, underestimate the American people. So we’ll insist that the law is followed with respect to benefits. But we’re not going to turn our backs on our fellow Americans.”
Biden tried to throw the Trump administration under the bus for the 22 million lost jobs during the pandemic by stating that the Trump administration “bungled its response to the crisis and failed to protect them.”
“Families, families who are just trying to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head, they aren’t the problem. We need to stay focused on the real problems in front of us, beating this pandemic and creating jobs,” Biden concluded. “Again, the law is clear. If you’re receiving unemployment benefits and you’re offered a suitable job, you can’t refuse that job and just keep getting unemployment benefits.”