College graduate unemployment reaches pre-pandemic level as Biden sells loan forgiveness as a COVID emergency

The August jobs report released Friday showed that the unemployment rate for college graduates fell to pre-pandemic levels after President Joe Biden’s recent pledge to spend at least $500 billion on student loan forgiveness while using the coronavirus pandemic as his legal justification.

The unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree has fallen to 1.9%, according to August jobs reportwhich matches the same rate recorded in February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing shutdowns in the United States.

The new numbers come at the same time that President Biden has pledged $500 billion, a number many experts expect ultimately to be much higher, to cancel $10,000 to $20,000 of student loan debt for millions of Americans with the coronavirus pandemic citing the legal justification. . .

Biden, who once said that ‘Very doubtful’ Whether the president has the authority to forgive student loan debt, he justified his sweeping executive action by claiming that the “HEROES Act of 2003” gives the Secretary of Education authority “to address the financial hardships arising from the COVID-19 pandemic by reducing or eliminating major student loan balances for a class wide range of borrowers.

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Joe Biden speaking in the dining room of the White House

President Joe Biden speaks in the White House State Dining Room, Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP/AP Newsroom)

many Legal experts questioned The administration’s interpretation of the “HEROES Act,” passed in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks with the intent of ensuring that military personnel fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are not penalized in paying off federal student aid loans.

E.J. Anthony, a research fellow in regional economics at the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital that the drop in the overall unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels deflects Biden’s argument that debt forgiveness should be given now.

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“If you want to talk about that, these people need debt relief because of the pandemic, did they need debt relief that much more in February of 2020?” Anthony said. “The whole idea that this is somehow due to the pandemic is just abhorrent to me.”

President Biden Delivers Philadelphia Speech September 1, 2022

President Biden speaks outside Independence Hall, Thursday, September 1, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci/AP Newsroom)

Anthony explained that Americans who have a Bachelor’s degree or higher have jobs that were essentially keeping pace with inflation during the pandemic which has shown them healthy wage increases while the average worker has seen a 5% drop in wages.

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“So you’re asking the average American who earns less in real terms to pay people who earn the same in real terms, basically just as they were before the pandemic,” Anthony said. “This is, in my opinion, a total slap in the face for the working man who has not gone to college, and who obviously has gone to college and paid off his loans or never borrowed.”

Anthony added that there have only been “literally a few times in history” where the college unemployment rate has been less than 1.9% and that 3.7 million college graduates are working more today than they did in February 2020.

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In addition to concerns about the legal justification for student loan debt forgiveness, many have raised doubts about whether it would be wise to spend such an exorbitant rate at a time when historical inflation It causes financial hardship to many Americans across the country.

Students protesting against student loans

FILE: Activists attend a rally outside the White House to call on US President Joe Biden to cancel student debt on July 27, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/Getty Images)

“It’s the kerosene in the landfill,” Anthony said, adding that the pause in interest payments and other factors would almost certainly push the total cost of student loan forgiveness to more than $600 million.

“The White House has never had a good handle on these numbers,” Anthony said.

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The White House He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

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