‘Inflation the Silent Killer’: Former Home Depot CEO Calls Out ‘Deceptively Correct’ June Jobs Report

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jul 08, 2024

During a Fox interview, former Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli called out the Biden administration’s latest jobs report on the US economy.

Nardelli insisted that every month the way the numbers get adjusted is deceptive and the effects of inflation are being missed when looking at the quality of jobs.

June Jobs Report

The US jobs report released recently for the month of June showed that US employers added 206,000 jobs to the economy, which some experts have seen as a sign of strength.

Workers working together in an office setting.

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“Both May and June hiring was above 200,000 even after revisions, and the trajectory looks stable,” said Eric Winograd, U.S. economist at AllianceBernstein. “The best available evidence is that the labor market remains strong and that any deceleration remains modest.”


Low Average

While some economists are hopeful about the numbers, others have pointed out that the job growth between April and June averaged only 177,000.

A person in a nurses uniform with a blue facemask and clear plastic apron.

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This makes it the lowest three-month average since January 2021.

Adjusted Numbers

The jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the numbers reported on in the media are subject to something called “seasonal adjustment.”

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Economists estimate which changes are due to normal seasonal fluctuations and remove or reduce the effect of those numbers so that non-seasonal changes can be more prominent in the data.

Nardelli Interview

During a Fox interview, former Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli took issue with the number adjustment and the role the government has in inflating job numbers.

Bob Nardelli speaks while dressed in a suit.

Photo by John Lamparski_Getty Images)

“I call that number, Cheryl, deceptively correct. As you pointed out, every month it gets adjusted…The second-largest employer last year was the government. And they’re back on the same track again this year. There is no GDP generated by government jobs,” said Nardelli.

Silent Killer

Narelli stressed that people focusing on the job numbers are missing the real story of inflation and the quality of jobs that it is creating in the economy.

A balloon that has crashed into the ground.

Sean Robertson/Unsplash

“Inflation is like carbon monoxide. It’s the silent killer that’s creating job problems in the quality of life. It is pervasive. People are still using dynamic pricing, Steve, to your point, and we’re continuing to suffer under reckless spending. It’s causing these problems in our economy. It’s stressing the fault lines in our economy. And whoever gets in that White House next year is going to be hit with a wrecking ball to try and pull this back,” said Nardelli.


Agreeing With Nardelli

During the interview, FreedomWorks senior economist Steve Moore expressed support for Nardelli’s point of view, saying he does not buy the framing by the Biden administration that the jobs numbers are “hot.”

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“I think we’ve definitely shifted into a lower gear,” said Moore. “I’m not saying we’re headed to a recession, but I am saying the economy is slowing down a lot, and we’re seeing that both in some of the GDP numbers and also in the employment numbers.”


Problem With the Government

Moore and Nardelli agreed that the position the government has as one of the biggest employers when it is currently running up debt is not a good thing.

A close-up of the Capitol rotunda.

Source: Ian Hutchinson/Unsplash

“If you look over the last about 14 or 15 months, the biggest employer or the biggest source of new jobs has come from government and health care. And my goodness, we have a federal government that’s running a $2 trillion deficit. They shouldn’t be hiring workers. We should be dramatically reducing government employment,” Moore said.


Biden Administration’s Hands-on Approach

The Biden administration has been very sensitive to criticism of the economy and jobs, especially as the election draws closer. To this end, Biden has been recently making moves to ensure the numbers look good.

A portrait image of Joe Biden sitting in front of the American flag.

The White House/Wikimedia Commons

According to the White House, the Department of Labor has spent more than $440 million on job apprenticeships and last year released a “good job” roadmap with the actions Biden planned to take.


Recent Action

At the beginning of this month, Biden announced an extension of overtime pay for over 1 million workers making less than $43,888 per year. Biden plans to extend this to another 3 million workers next year if he remains in office after the November election.

An image of Joe Biden standing in front of two microphones.

Michael Stokes/Wikimedia Commons

“That means higher paychecks and more time with family for millions of Americans,” the White House statement said.


Criticizing Biden

In the Fox interview, Nardelli criticized the Biden administration’s action on overtime as not being “appropriate.”

Joe Biden in a dark suit, looking down and coughing into his fist during a CNN event

Source: propandco/X

“This is not equitable in that if you have a lower skilled job, why are they going to get paid more than someone with higher skills? Because they’re both working a couple of hours of overtime? So again, I’m not sure this is equitable, and I’m not sure this is an appropriate way to increase the standard of living for our families today. I think there are other things we should be doing,” said Nardelli.


What Do Americans Think?

This year, the Biden administration has made strides in improving jobs and the economy for Americans, but this has not always translated to positive perceptions by the public.

A person holding an American flag and a firework.

Source: Stephanie McCabe/Unsplash

In May, a Harris poll found that 55% of Americans believe the economy is shrinking and 56% believed the US economy is undergoing a recession. 58% of those surveyed in the poll believed Biden is responsible for the worsening state of the US economy.