President Biden is visiting Arizona, New Mexico and Utah this week to promote his economic agenda, labeled Bidenomics, and his investments in clean energy, manufacturing and efforts to combat climate change.
“Our plan is working,” Biden said at a New Mexico event Wednesday, noting that more than 13 million jobs have been created since he took office. “We’ve created more jobs in two years than any president in American history has in a four-year term.”
The unemployment rate has stayed below 4% for the longest stretch in 50 years, Biden said. “And not only have we recovered all the jobs we lost during the pandemic, we now have more jobs than we did before the pandemic,” he said.
He added that inflation has fallen to its lowest point in two years and the U.S. has the lowest inflation rate of any major economy. He also celebrated what he called a boom in manufacturing investment. “Last quarter, factory construction contributed more to the gross domestic product than any time in 40 years,” he said.
In the year since he signed the CHIPS and Science Act, Biden said Wednesday, companies have announced more than $166 billion in projects to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States. The White House also says that companies have invested about $110 billion in clean energy since Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which was loaded with climate provisions.
Biden said that he wants to U.S. to regain its former industrial might. “For the longest time we’ve been told to give up on American manufacturing. That can’t happen again,” he said. “America used to lead the world in manufacturing. We’re going to do it again.”
Why it matters: It’s been a hot economy summer, with solid data offering Biden an opportunity to tout the progress on jobs and inflation and tell voters how his legislative successes, including the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act, have factored into an industrial resurgence.
But as the president tries to make his case head of the 2024 election, the economy still faces real threats — see, for example, the downgrade of 10 regional banks’ credit ratings by Moody’s Investor Service, which also warned about other players in the industry or persistent fears about a potential meltdown in the commercial and residential real estate markets.
And even as Biden is trying to celebrate recent economic gains and claim credit for them, his efforts to score points with the American public may be overshadowed by the legal troubles of his predecessor and potential 2024 challenger, which dominate news cycle after news cycle.