Economy/Labor/Politics

Biden claims blue-collar workers ‘getting clobbered’ in Trump economy, but wages are up and unemployment near record-low

During Tuesday’s latest 2020 Democratic debate, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading in many polls, claimed that American blue collar workers are “getting clobbered” under President Donald Trump.

From his debate podium in Des Moines, Iowa, Biden claimed that American workers “are being clobbered, they’re being killed,” in the Trump economy.

“Working-class people — where I come from in Pennsylvania, the places I come from in Delaware — I have great support,” he said.

“Where I come from — the neighborhoods I come from — they’re in real trouble: working-class people and middle-class people,” Biden claimed.



“When the middle class does well, [the] working class has a way up and the wealthy do well. But what’s happening now: they’re being clobbered, they’re being killed,” he added.

“They now have a situation where they [believe] — the vast majority believe — their children will never reach the stage that they reached in economic security.”

The economic and labor data do not bear those claims out, however.

Last month, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta shows that for the lowest wage earners, the president’s “Buy American, Hire American” economy has delivered the quickest rate of wage hikes in more than a decade.




In November, for instance, the bottom 25 percent of wage earners saw their pay rise by 4.5 percent compared to a year earlier.

Those bottom-level workers, who are earning less than all other Americans, also have a labor market that resembles that of top-tier workers: A result of fewer low-skilled foreign competition against Americans through better immigration enforcement.

Also, the unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, according to economists, is reminiscent of full employment. Indeed, in September 2019, there were about 477,000 open factory jobs.

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