A prominent White House ally has turned against President Joe Biden’s narrative that lack of child care services are the source of April’s low job report, instead pointing to the left’s extension of increased unemployment benefits as the problem.
Harvard professor Jason Furman, whom Politico has called a Biden-friendly economist, presented the evidence that disproved the White House narrative.
“School closures and lack of child care are not holding back the recovery,” Furman reported to Politico. “And conversely, we shouldn’t expect a short-term economic bump from reopening schools and making child care more available.”
Furman added “the factors responsible for the slow employment recovery and depressed labor supply are issues that are not exclusively related to the struggles of working parents, such as the continued concern about the threat of getting COVID-19 at work or expanded unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility.”
The White House has offered a different response, according to press secretary Jen Psaki.
“We don’t see much evidence that the extra unemployment insurance is a major driver in people not rejoining the workforce,” Psaki said. “There are other factors—bigger factors—that have been contributing to the numbers we saw on Friday.”
Despite the White House warning, several states are beginning to end pandemic-level unemployment benefits. Arkansas, Montana and South Carolina were the first three to join the growing movement.
All three states are Republican-led conservatives states, indicating conservatives are taking aim at the problem outside of Washington’s support.