The May jobs report has been released, and as RedState speculated earlier in the week, it missed expectations by a sizable amount. That follows on the heels of an absolutely disastrous April jobs report which saw an economy sputtering when it should have been roaring.
While the miss is less this time around, even left-leaning outlets like Axios can’t avoid the top-line story here.
Context matters when talking about job numbers, and given we are still down around ten million or so jobs from the start of the pandemic, scraping together only around 500,000 hires a month is a painfully slow recovery. It harkens back to Barack Obama having the slowest recovery on record after the 2008 financial crash, except this time, the initial crisis was completely arbitrary due to government lockdowns. Thus, you’d expect to see a rapid, overheated recovery as those artificial barriers are lifted. We aren’t, and there’s a reason for that.
Businesses are desperate for employees, but the biggest factor in this equation is that wages are up again this month. What’s that tell you? That federal unemployment benefits and enhancements, which can average out to $40,000 tax-free a year in some states, are continuing to crush the hiring market. A lot of people are sitting at home, enjoying their summer, believing that they can go back to work at a drop of the hat when benefits finally expire. And that calculation may be right given that the labor shortage doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.
Given that, it’s up to the government to not be so irresponsible as to feed into that dynamic by continuing unemployment extensions and enhancements when they clearly aren’t needed. Yet, our government isn’t responsible so you get the boondoggle we currently see. Businesses that can’t get employees can’t serve customers properly, and they eventually go out of business.
The irony here is that as red states officially end unemployment early this month (there was an opt-out in the last COVID “relief bill”), it will be Republican governors that begin to save Joe Biden’s economy, for which the president will no doubt then take credit.
What we are seeing is a completely unnecessary dragging out of economic pain. Democrats could agree to boot these benefits tomorrow and the economy would take off like a rocket ship. But they are more invested in building the government power base than the economy. https://buy.tinypass.com/checkout/template/cacheableShow?aid=xi5T3o1hTs&templateId=OTM3DOJ5E0NX&offerId=fakeOfferId&experienceId=EXLTXX8ARLVO&iframeId=offer_41ab382071183fee9047-0&displayMode=inline&pianoIdUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fid.tinypass.com%2Fid%2F&widget=template