The Biden administration brags about the number of jobs being created, but given our rather slack economy it is reasonable to wonder what kind of jobs they are. At the Wall Street Journal, Allysia Finley has a sobering answer:
Drill into the nation’s 3.7% unemployment rate, and you’ll find a growing welfare-industrial complex beneath the seemingly strong labor market. Government, social assistance and healthcare account for 56% of the 2.8 million net new jobs over the past year, and for nearly all gains in blue states such as New York and Illinois.
What is driving the increase in social welfare jobs?
The tens of thousands of migrants pouring into big cities need to be tended to. So do the hundreds of thousands of drug-addled and mentally ill homeless living on the streets. Progressive government doesn’t do anything on the cheap. America’s welfare state has thus become a proverbial Big Dig, and it keeps getting bigger.
This chart shows the shocking gain in employment in social welfare advocacy organizations since 2013. The Left takes care of its own!
As you might expect, gains in the welfare-industrial complex are concentrated in the blue states. In fact, if it weren’t for such jobs, some blue states like New York, Michigan and Illinois would actually be losing employment. This chart tells the story:
Which means that it is the red states that are carrying the load, producing jobs that actually create wealth:
President Biden won’t admit it, but he has Republican states to thank for the increase in productive jobs in private industry. The administration’s bet is that government spending on welfare and entitlements can continue to power the U.S. labor market even as job growth in manufacturing, tech, retail and other industries flags. But social make-work projects don’t improve American living standards.
So, who are the main beneficiaries of today’s government-focused economy?
Aside from two years of runaway inflation, one way to explain Americans’ malaise is that they sense most new jobs aren’t making them or most people they know better off. The main beneficiaries are workers in the welfare-industrial complex.