Social Media Post Shares Misleading Claims About Jobs Numbers and Recessions

In a recent Facebook post, Occupy Democrats attributed a claim to California Governor Gavin Newsom, stating that 15.6 million jobs have been created under President Joe Biden, representing eight times more than the combined employment growth of the last three Republican presidents. However, this claim needs context to be fully understood.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the U.S. economy has indeed seen a recovery of 15.63 million non-farm jobs since January 2021 under the Biden administration, which makes the claim technically accurate. Yet, it’s essential to note that this impressive growth is a result of the country facing a significant employment decline of about 20.48 million jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic between March and April of 2020.

The employment growth figures under the Biden administration benefit from the fact that he took office during a period of economic downturn. When compared to pre-pandemic levels, the net increase in non-farm employment during Biden’s tenure stands at approximately 6.2 million jobs, far less than the eight-fold increase suggested in the original claim.

Comparing the employment growth during the tenures of the last three Republican presidents, George H.W. Bush added 2.63 million jobs; George W. Bush added approximately 1.37 million jobs; and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump saw a loss of about 2.72 million jobs. Consequently, the total net addition of non-farm employment under the last three Republican presidents amounts to around 1.28 million.

Therefore, if only the net amount of non-farm employment figures are considered, Biden has generated about 4.8 times the number of jobs compared to the last three Republican presidents combined, rather than eight times as claimed in the original statement.

It is true that the U.S. experienced recessions under Trump and both Bushes, but the claim lacks context. The recession under George H.W. Bush occurred from August 1990 to March 1991. George W. Bush oversaw a recession from March 2001 to November 2001, primarily due to the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and from January 2008 to June 2009. Under Donald Trump, the U.S. experienced a brief recession from March to April 2020 caused by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, marking the shortest recorded recession.

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