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Chairman Smith: President Biden Has Left Working Families Less Secure

May 03, 2024

“Americans with jobs still struggle to afford to put food on their table and gas in their car.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the April 2024 jobs report, showing fewer jobs created than expected and a rising unemployment rate:

“President Biden’s failed leadership has left working families less secure, less prosperous, and with less money in their pocket. Real wages are down 3.9 percent since the president took office, and the worst may still be to come: prices are rising faster, interest rates will remain at the highest levels in 23 years, and the economy is getting weaker. Americans with jobs still struggle to afford to put food on their table and gas in their car. The latest numbers show that many of the new jobs Democrats claim credit for are just second jobs taken by people struggling with Bidenflation and Democrats’ agenda continues to create more jobs for bureaucrats than blue-collar workers.  

“On top of the almost 20 percent ‘Bidenflation’ tax, President Biden has promised to let the successful Trump tax cuts expire next year as part of his plan for a $7 trillion tax hike on workers, families, farmers, and small businesses. Ways and Means Republicans believe people should keep more of their hard-earned money. That is why our tax teams are getting to work and identifying ways America can use our tax code to boost incomes, create jobs, and fuel a strong and growing economy.”

READ: Ways & Means Chairman Smith and Tax Subcommittee Chairman Kelly Announce Tax Teams to Avert 2025 Tax Cliff

Jobs Report Highlights

  • Missed Expectations: Job creation was weak in March, as the economy created approximately 65,000 fewer jobs than expected. This follows a GDP report for the first quarter of 2024 that was far weaker than projected.
  • Higher Unemployment: The unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent.
  • Fewer Jobs Created Than Reported: 22,000 fewer jobs were created in February and March than initially estimated. 
  • Workers Staying on Sidelines: The current labor force participation rate (62.7 percent) is still below the pre-pandemic rate (63.3 percent).
  • Small Business Recession: According to the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Index, small businesses employing between 1-9 people cut 58,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2024.

Key Background: 

  • The Federal Open Market Committee announced the Federal Reserve is maintaining interest rates at the highest level in 23 years.
  • The Federal Reserve chose to maintain interest rates instead of cutting rates because inflation reports over several months show inflation is higher than expected and is accelerating.
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2024 last Thursday showing much lower-than-expected growth at 1.6 percent. Expectations were nearly a full point higher.
  • Real wages and benefits have fallen 3.9 percent since President Biden took office.
  • Inflation outpaced wages for 26 straight months of Biden’s presidency.
  • Mortgage rates reached a 23 year high of 7.8 percent in October. The monthly mortgage payment for a median priced new home has increased by $1,209 and is 107 percent higher than when President Biden took office in January 2021.
  • The average monthly payment on a new car was a near record $735 in the latest calendar quarter, according to Edmunds, up nearly 30% since Biden took office.  Average down payments were also up by nearly $2,000.
  • Credit card interest rates are at the highest level in nearly three decades, while consumer credit debt has reached an all-time high of just over $1 trillion and the number of Americans struggling to pay credit card bills has increased sharply.