The Corner

Economy & Business

Coming Soon: The Jobs Report, the Inflation Report, and the Border Report

President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks on the state of his American Rescue Plan from the State Dining Room at the White House, May 5, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Politico reports, “the next monthly U.S. employment report, which will be released Friday morning, may not show the robust growth that President Joe Biden needs to help pass his sweeping agenda.”

I’m not sure that interpretation is quite right, as the Biden administration responds to bad economic news by declaring it to be further evidence that Congress needs to enact their trillion-dollar spending bills. Also, the Biden administration responds to good economic news by declaring it to be further evidence that Congress needs to enact their trillion-dollar spending bills.

Nonetheless, Politico notes that there are some indicators that Friday’s numbers may not be so hot: “The Real-Time Population Survey, a tool backed by the Dallas Fed that aims to track unemployment trends more quickly than the Labor Department, saw a slowdown in the labor-market recovery in May, with employment ticking down to 71.1 percent from 71.8 percent the month before.”

The beginning of each month brings at least three updates to government data that can support or refute the Biden administration’s arguments that their early policy changes are working. The update to the Consumer Price Index, which is a key measurement of inflation, is scheduled to be released the morning of June 10. The CPI numbers for last month were terrible, for the second straight month, suggesting that what we’re experiencing is not a brief post-pandemic blip.

Sometime early in the month, with no particular set date for release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will provide the numbers for Southwest Border Land Encounters for May – that is, how many people the CBP caught trying to cross over the U.S.-Mexican border. After Biden insisted the increasing number of migrants at the border was part of a regular seasonal pattern, CBP caught more than 173,000 in March and more than 178,000 in April, the highest in about two decades. At some point, that number has to come down, if for no other reason than increasing temperatures and the summer heat make the journey north less appealing. But the longer the near-record monthly numbers continue, the more ridiculous and out-of-touch Biden’s assessment seems – and the clearer it becomes that administration policies have encouraged more migrants to try to illegally sneak across the border.

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