The United States economy continues to defy growing recession fears that have been sparked by record-high inflation and surging gas prices, adding a better-than-expected 372,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6 percent.
Following the release of Friday’s strong jobs report, though, Fox News appeared taken aback by the growth before eventually spinning the plentiful number of job opportunities as “America’s employment crisis.”
Just ahead of Friday morning’s release of the monthly employment numbers, for example, the network prepped its viewers to expect more bad news for President Joe Biden.
“The White House is bracing for what’s expected to be an underwhelming jobs report in a little over two hours,” host Carley Shimkus stated on the morning flagship show Fox & Friends. “The data is expected to show the weakest jobs growth since April 2021. But press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is trying to shift the narrative. She insists the Biden economy is the strongest in our nation’s history but confesses that gas prices are out of control despite putting the blame on Vladimir Putin. ”
Two hours later, after Fox News anchor Julie Banderas told the network’s audience that the latest jobs report beat expectations, Trump-boosting Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo was brought on to provide an analysis of the numbers. And in her opinion, the report showed that America is dealing with the “tightest jobs market” in recent history.
“We’re talking about this concern from employers now for several months, the fact this is the tightest jobs market they’ve ever seen pushing wages up,” she told anchor Bill Hemmer on America’s Newsroom. “Three hundred seventy-two thousand jobs much better than the expectation. So many people are questioning how it is possible that we can generate 372,000 jobs even in potentially a recession, which is where we are potentially right now. ”
Bartiromo would go on to stoke concerns that both inflation and gas prices will continue to rise, even though she admitted that “commodities have come off the highs,” adding that we are in “an economy that’s slowing despite job growth.”
Hemmer, meanwhile, noted that there are currently around 11 million job openings and that “if you want to work in America, you can.” While making these remarks, the program aired a graphic that blared “America’s Employment Crisis”While contrasting the number of available jobs with the number of unemployed workers, which is estimated at 5.9 million.
Continuing to express doubt that the job market will sustain this level of growth, Bartiromo concluded that “we’ll see if this is the last strong report that we see before evidence of a recession.” Hemmer, while praising Bartiromo’s “great analysis,” wondered aloud if “we’re dipping or dropping or going the other way.”
The following hour on Fox News’ The Faulkner Focusanother Fox Business anchor also poured cold water on the employment numbers, suggesting that they were indicative of increased inflation and a weakening economy on the verge of recession.
“What is happening now is that Americans are actually dipping into their savings because of inflation,” David Asman declared. “So they are running out of their savings. What do you do when you are at home and run out of savings? You go back to work. A lot of people who had been sitting on the fence are now seeing these 11 million jobs, cherry-picking the really good ones. ”
Adding that there are some forecasters predicting that there will be negative economic growth in the second quarter, Asman noted that the United States may already “be in a recession” and, therefore, “a lot of those 11 million job openings will dry up. ”
Not everyone at Fox, however, tried to place a negative spin on Friday’s jobs numbers.
“That does not look like an economy in recession to me,” anchor Stuart Varney said on Fox Business Network’s Varney and Co.
Other economists also agreed that despite inflationary worries and the economic slowdown in the first quarter of the year, the worries over recession may have been premature and overblown.
“The employment report strongly suggests that the economy was not in recession in the first half of 2022,” former Obama economic adviser Jason Furman and research economist Wilson Powell III wrote on Friday. The pair added that the labor market’s strength also suggests that inflation may be moderating.
“The strong 372,000 gain in non-farm payrolls in June appears to make a mockery of claims the economy is heading into, let alone already in, a recession,” Capital Economics economist Andrew Hunter told CNBC.