On February 3 the US Department of Labor released the latest jobs report. The US economy added 517,000 new jobs in January. That brings the total number of jobs added during the Biden administration to nearly 12 million. No president has added as many jobs in two years, most have not added as many new jobs in four years. The caveat is that some of the jobs added were jobs lost due to the pandemic. But in 2022, we surpassed the number of jobs lost due to the pandemic - so the additions now are new jobs.
Why is this happening? Simply put, the programs put into place by the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress helped bring these jobs into creation. Included in the job growth has been the consistent addition of jobs in manufacturing, jobs which had been in decline for more than a decade. Construction jobs have been making a comeback as well, largely due to projects supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill passed in 2021. Those investments are creating jobs, good jobs, well-paying jobs, often, union jobs.
Some of the bills passed have not yet begun to turn into employment but are creating future growth. The Chips Act to bring microchip manufacturing back to America, is working. Several companies have committed to create or expand factories in the US due to the subsidies and policy changes in the act. Each one will create hundreds or thousands of well paying jobs, plus work constructing the factories and jobs in ancillary industries that support those factories.
The US economy still has challenges. Inflation has improved, but still has an impact at the grocery store cash register. Wages are increasing, especially for those in service industries at the low end of the pay scale.
There are dangers that could derail this American economy. A military mistake in Europe could widen the conflict, with all the damage that might do. Unchecked climate change continues to negatively impact the economy in a variety of ways.
A looming danger is the Republican stubbornness on the national debt. They seem to feel no responsibility to pay the debts they authorized under the Trump administration or since. A default, or near default, on the debt could easily derail the American economy and end the progress we have made. It would be a willful decision by Republicans which could cost millions of Americans their incomes for months or years. An action northern Winnebago County folks can take is to call Rep. LaHood and demand he vote to lift the debt ceiling without strings attached. The Washington DC office is (202) 225-6201, The Peoria office is (309) 671-7027. You can call either or both.
But for now, be proud to be a Democrat. The leaders from our party are leading the American economy on the path of growth that will benefit us all.