Critics Slam Biden as Americans Forced into Multiple Jobs


On the economy, critics of President Joe Biden argue that he has a substance problem, while the White House and its allies claim Biden has a messaging problem. Both perspectives hold some truth.

Last Friday, the government released jobs data for May. The left-leaning media praised the report, stating the economy added 270,000 jobs. However, the data was detrimental for ordinary Americans, revealing that fewer Americans were working in May than in April, with those employed needing to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. These are significant economic issues for Biden.

The celebratory response from the White House and pro-Biden media highlights a disconnect between pundits, bureaucrats, and academics on one side, and working Americans on the other. Americans generally dislike when their leaders celebrate their economic struggles. This represents Biden’s messaging problem.

Number of Jobs vs. Number of People Working

There are two ways to examine employment data: by looking at how many jobs people are working and by considering how many people have jobs.

Imagine an economy with three people and three jobs. This economy could have each person working one job, with no unemployment, or it could have one person working three jobs while two remain unemployed. The May jobs report indicates a trend toward the latter scenario.

Both sets of job data are tracked and published by the government, providing evidence that the May jobs data was indeed problematic. The pro-Biden media only discusses the first set of data, showing an increase of 270,000 “all employees” from April to May.

This figure is misleading as it double-counts (or triple- or quadruple-counts) people working multiple jobs to make ends meet, because each person counts as a different “employee” for each employer. Thus, this data set offers limited insight into the actual number of Americans working.

The true picture is found in a separate report called the “Employment Level,” which pro-Biden media largely ignores. As this report states, “[e]ach employed person is counted only once, even if he or she holds more than one job.” This data shows how many Americans have jobs at a given time. The number of employed Americans decreased by more than 400,000 from April to May. Essentially, in May 2024, 400,000 fewer Americans had jobs than in April 2024.

This also implies that the net jobs “added” by Biden in May were simply additional jobs taken by Americans already working. The May data reveals an increase of 15,000 people working at least two jobs from April. Over the past year, 629,000 more Americans have had to take on a second job.

Even these numbers don’t fully align. To reconcile Biden’s May job “gains” with the larger decrease in Americans employed, it appears many people are taking on three or more jobs to make ends meet.

The government does not differentiate between those working two jobs and those working three or more. Therefore, someone with two jobs in April and three in May is recorded as a “multiple job holder” in both months.

Nonetheless, the data suggests many people are working three or more jobs. While 400,000 fewer people worked in May, 270,000 more jobs were worked. People moving from one to two jobs in May accounts for only 15,000 of this difference.

All government figures are subject to sampling error, making it hard to determine the exact number of people working more than two jobs. However, data trends strongly indicate a significant number of Americans are being forced to work three or more jobs.

In short, Biden and his media allies are celebrating fewer Americans working, and those employed having to work harder. This disconnect between Biden and ordinary Americans becomes evident as Americans don’t see fewer working and harder work as reasons to celebrate.

Other Terrible News in the May Data

The May employment data contains other concerning news. Although overall employment decreased by 400,000 in May, full-time employment fared worse.

The number of Americans with full-time jobs declined by 625,000 from April to May. Over the past 11 months, full-time employment has plunged by more than 1.5 million. Effectively, the economy is replacing full-time jobs with part-time ones, which is troubling for Biden and his supporters.

Job openings in the U.S. dropped by around 290,000 in the most recent monthly report. Thus, the 270,000 jobs “gained” in May likely reflect people filling existing jobs, probably as an extra job.

The unemployment rate also rose in May to 4.0 percent, marking a .5 percent increase over ten months. That’s concerning, especially since the labor force participation rate dipped simultaneously.

Normally, the unemployment and labor force participation rates have an inverse relationship. As labor force participation declines, unemployment should decrease, all else being equal. That’s because it’s easier to supply sufficient jobs when fewer people seek employment.

In May, both the labor force participation rate and the unemployment rate worsened, signaling a possible recession, along with the recent downward revision of already low first-quarter GDP.

Even isolated, the May drop in labor force participation is alarming. Poor labor participation has characterized Bidenomics, with high inflation, interest rates, decreased real income, depleted savings, and increased consumer debt. Despite over three years of Biden’s “recovery,” the U.S. has not returned to its pre-pandemic labor participation level.

The Trump administration added 1.4 percent back to labor participation in six months post-pandemic low. In contrast, Biden has added only 1.0 percent over 41 months. The consistently low labor participation rate throughout Biden’s term has artificially kept the unemployment rate low.

Sustained poor labor participation is a looming economic issue. Labor participation supports federal and state tax bases and payroll taxes essential for Social Security and Medicare, which require an ever-increasing working population for sustainability.

Bad economic news is troublesome, but celebrating it is worse. If Biden doesn’t address these issues soon, voters will resolve them in November.

Joseph LoBue
Joseph LoBue
Joseph LoBue is a retired Naval officer and attorney.

Latest stories


Related Articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!
Continue on app