Denver7 Investigates took a closer look at a few of the statements made Tuesday during President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address.
Statement: “We created jobs, lots of jobs. Our economy created over 6.5 million more jobs just last year, more jobs created in one year than ever before in the history of America.”
Context: This statement is accurate on its face. The U.S. added roughly 6.5 million jobs last year, a nice rebound after the economy lost approximately 9.4 million jobs in 2020 as the pandemic hit, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some economists give the president credit, while others say the job growth was inevitable after the losses in 2020.
Schools and Teachers
Statement: “The American Rescue Plan Act gave schools money to hire teachers and help students make up for lost learning.”
Context: This is true, as the act provided nearly $125 billion to schools. But there are still concerns.
Last month the president of the National Education Association, Becky Pringle, sent a tweet that noted there are 389,000 fewer educators in the country’s public schools than prior to the pandemic, showcasing that spending money may not yield instant results.
Oil reserves and prices
Statement: “Tonight, I can announce that the United States has worked with 30 other countries to release 60 million barrels of oil from reserves around the world. America will lead that effort, releasing 30 million barrels of our own strategic petroleum reserve."
Context: The numbers are accurate, as Biden is hoping to lower gas prices and slow inflation. But anxiety over the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. Even with the president’s announcement, the Associated Press reports that oil prices still rose more than $5 per barrel today.
The president was also accurate when he said the value of the Russian ruble is down 30%, the Russian stock market is down 40% and that the U.S. has sent 475 million vaccine doses to foreign countries.
To watch the full State of the Union address, click here.
To watch the Republican response to the State of the Union address, click here.