Biden Takes Victory Lap On Manufacturing Policy, But Data Paints Bleaker Picture

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Nick Pope Contributor
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President Joe Biden delivered a Thursday speech in South Carolina touting his administration’s push to revitalize American manufacturing, even though data shows that manufacturers are far less keen than the president on the sector’s outlook.

Biden delivered the speech in defense of “Bidenomics,” the administration’s preferred term for Biden’s massive spending agenda as the 2024 election cycle ramps up. Multiple indexes and datasets suggest that his economic policies have not had their advertised rejuvenating effect on the American manufacturing sector.

“This time, investment is working in factories being built, jobs being created, happening in rural America, the heartland, all across America,” Biden said. “In communities that have been left out and hollowed out. This is what it looks like across the country.”

Biden’s speech comes after the U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) hit a six-month low in June 2023, as output and new orders have continued their downward trend, according to Trading Economics. The Institute for Supply Management calculates the manufacturing PMI to assess attitudes from within the sector about the overall prevailing trend of its future business prospects by surveying sector insiders, according to Investopedia. (RELATED: Biden’s Green Manufacturing Plan Is Running Into A Huge Problem: Report)

“More than 800,000 manufacturing jobs, including 14,000 in this state alone … it’s Bidenomics in action,” he continued. The U.S. manufacturing sector has added approximately 200,000 new jobs relative to pre-pandemic January 2020 levels as of June 2023 estimates, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The Philadelphia branch of the Federal Reserve has recorded ten straight months of diminishing new orders for manufacturers in the region, according to data on its website. Employment has stayed relatively consistent in the area’s manufacturers, but a trend of shortening working hours for manufacturing employees has accelerated in the region, according to the same data, a development which is considered a warning sign of an incoming recession when it occurs on a national scale.

“There were 12.196 million manufacturing jobs in January 2021. There are 12.984 million as of May 2023. That is a difference of 788,000, or nearly 800,000,” a spokesperson for the White House told the Daily Caller News Foundation, referencing the BLS data. The 12.196 million figure cited as the starting point for the Biden administration’s math is approximately 590,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than existed prior to the pandemic in January 2020, according to the BLS data.

The New York division of the Federal Reserve has observed fluctuation in the sector’s attitudes about future business prospects, with consistently low planned investment in the region’s manufacturing, according to data on its website. Price increases in supply chains have also continued to hamper the sector’s outlook, but the six-month forward view grew slightly more optimistic in June, according to the same data.

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