Joe Biden knocked Donald Trump for his jobs record while in the White House, noting that only two presidents left the executive mansion with the US jobs market having fewer positions than when they began their presidency.
At a community college in Maryland on Thursday, the president was speaking about his economic agenda, dubbed Bidenomics, when he made the dig at his predecessor.
“There are only two presidents in American history with fewer jobs the day they left office than when they started. One is President Hoover. The other is Donald Hoover Trump,” Mr Biden said to laughter in the room. “My predecessor promised to be the greatest jobs president in history. Well, it didn’t really work out that way. He lost 2 million jobs over the course of his presidency.”
Fortune wrote in January 2021, the month Mr Trump left the White House following his 2020 election loss and the subsequent insurrection, that Mr Trump was set to become the first president after the Second World War to see employment decrease during their time in the job.
The last time that happened was in 1933 when Herbert Hoover left the White House during the Great Depression.
Biden: There are only two presidents in American history with fewer jobs the day they left office than when they started. One is President Hoover. The other is Donald Hoover Trump. pic.twitter.com/J76rzVxNP3
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 14, 2023
A jobs report in January 2021 from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that there were three million fewer jobs in the US than when Mr Trump took office in 2017.
William Spriggs, a Howard University and AFL-CIO economist, told The Washington Post in January 2021 that Mr Trump’s response to the pandemic contributed to the massive jobs loss that the virus brought.
He argued that a wartime-style mobilisation could have kept people employed as cleaners or contact tracers.
“He didn’t pump enough money to state and local governments,” he told the paper. “And we lost more jobs in state and local government than we did the whole of the Great Recession.”
On Labor Day, Mr Biden said in a speech in Pennsylvania: “Guess what? The great real estate builder, the last guy, he didn’t build a damn thing. Under my predecessor, Infrastructure Week became a punchline. On my watch, infrastructure has been a decade, and it’s a headline.”
Thursday’s speech in Maryland wasn’t the first time Mr Biden made the Herbert Hoover comparison.
“The guy who held this job before me was just one of two presidents in history ... who left office with fewer jobs in America than when he got elected to office,” Mr Biden added, according to HuffPost. “By the way, you know who the other one was? Herbert Hoover. Isn’t that kind of coincidental?”
“All I hear from my friends on the other side is what they say is wrong with America,” the president said. “They keep telling us America’s failing. They’re wrong. I’ve got news for them – America has the strongest economy in the world right now, today.”