Joe Biden made some bold claims about the U.S. economy’s state and how it has changed under his watch. While it’s easy to laugh at Biden’s statements, those on the right can’t help but be shocked at how truthful they are. The BBC did a fact-check on Biden’s claims regarding the economy earlier this week. Let’s see what they found.
Biden stated recently that we’re experiencing a strong economic recovery around the world. Since he took office, the U.S. has seen a 6% increase in its GDP. The American economy has recovered from the pandemic in a strong way, but this recovery was largely due to Donald Trump.
Biden stated in his speech that our economy had created a record number of 5.6 million jobs since he became President, which is the highest number of jobs added to the U.S. since 1939.
The BBC pointed out that these impressive numbers have a catch. In April 2020, the U.S. unemployment rates were at their highest level since the Great Depression, as 22 million jobs were lost during the pandemic.
The American workforce is still experiencing high levels of turnover, especially in certain parts of the country. People are switching from lower-paying jobs to better ones, while others are leaving the workforce entirely. We can expect Biden will gush about these numbers, but it’s worth digging deeper to get the right perspective.
Biden also boasted about how wages have risen for Americans. He appears to be right on the surface. The U.S. wage rate has risen 4.9% overall since October of last year.
Inflation has risen 6.2% which is sufficient to erase any wage growth. Inflation is a factor that has caused earnings to decline by 1.2% in the past year.
Biden spoke about gas prices and noted that the average price per gallon in America is $3.40. He attempted to highlight that other countries are also suffering from higher fuel prices. In Europe and Asia, the price of gasoline recently reached new records. It was at $7.50 per gallon in France last month and $5.50 per gallon in Japan, which is the highest price it has been in many years.
Two countries in which gas is more expensive than in the U.S. were specifically mentioned by the president. However, the BBC notes that gas prices in Russia and other OPEC countries are not as high. The comparison between the U.S. and France by the president is not apples to oranges due to fuel tax differences.
The U.S. fuel tax is $.18 while the average state gasoline tax is $.30. Comparing that to the fuel tax of the European Union at $2.40, the difference in fuel prices between the U.S.A and France is not so great.
Biden also talked about how to make a difference in the supply-chain crisis and stated that the number of containers on docks blocking movement has fallen by 33% in the last 3 weeks.
The Port of Los Angeles charged shipping companies who left their containers on the docks a fee that resulted in a decrease of 3% in shipping containers.
The port has a new kind of backlog. There is an 18% increase of empty containers that are waiting to be taken back to sea. There was still an unprecedented number of ships in the harbor’s holding area, which means that our supply chain crisis may not be over.
Biden made bold claims about the strength and state of America’s supply chain. He also offered excuses for gas prices. The reality is quite different to the one Biden wants to portray.