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Social media users on Friday refrained from an infographic posted online by the White House claiming that President Biden has created far more jobs than any other commander in chief.
The publication boasted “absolutely”.
The graphic – which appeared on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – was published just hours after a disappointing jobs report showed employment fell well below expectations in December.
While the numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics seemed accurate, the raw data failed to show significant context.
The talking point that Biden has created more jobs than any other president is a favourite — but it doesn’t take into account population and workforce growth, or the fact that many recently gained jobs have been lost during the steep job decline due to the coronavirus pandemic.
US employment is cold in December as the economy adds only 199,000 new jobs
According to Politifact, the economy is still five million jobs below its pre-pandemic peak.
Social media users were quick to point out what many interpreted as revolving around the White House.
“What world do you guys live in?!” One commenter wrote, along with several laughing and clown emojis.
“This is a joke, isn’t it?” Post wrote.
A third said, “I have to say one thing that’s great about this administration and that is the misrepresentation of charts and graphs.”
“Here for the comments lol,” another user joked.
“I don’t think ‘created’ means what you think it does……” Someone else posted.
Biden defended the economy under his watch on Friday.
“There is a lot of press coverage about people resigning from their jobs,” he said from the White House. “Well, today’s report tells you why – Americans are moving to better jobs. This is the kind of recovery I have promised and wish for the American people.”
And while economists expected 400,000 new jobs to be added in the last report of the year, the number was a dismal 199,000.
However, the unemployment rate remains low – as Biden often points out – down to 3.9% from 4.2% – the lowest level since the pandemic began.
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The job market was gaining momentum after the delta-induced slowdown over the summer, but the latest figure marks the second consecutive month of worse-than-expected growth, after upwardly-adjusted gains of 249,000 in November and 648,000 in October. The last time job growth was this slow was in December 2020, when employers cut 306,000 jobs.