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President Biden Touts Economy, Green Jobs In Belen

President Joe Biden was in New Mexico on Wednesday to tout economic policies he says are helping to produce a strong, growing economy.
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President Joe Biden was in New Mexico on Wednesday to tout economic policies he says are helping to produce a strong, growing economy.

President Joe Biden was in Belen on Wednesday to tout the policies of “Bidenomics” and how an emphasis on clean energy will produce jobs for New Mexico and across the country.

Appearing at the Acrosa Wind Towers that is the home of a former Solo plastic cups plant, Biden talked about the plant as a great example of how the administration’s legislative achievements have bolstered jobs and investments in the U.S.

He says the plan is working.

“The economy has grown since I took office. It grew faster in the last quarter than anyone expected. We’ve created over 13-million brand new jobs since I took office,” he said. “90-thousand new jobs right here in New Mexico, 800-thousand manufacturing jobs nationwide. Where is it written that America can’t lead the world again in manufacturing because we’re going to do just that.”             

Arcosa President and CEO Antonio Carrillo says the company had to lay off workers in Illinois and Iowa before Biden's Inflation Reduction Act became law last year, but customers have placed $1.1 billion in wind tower orders since its passage. 

He says once the plant is completed it will help meet the growing need for renewable energy in the southwest, and the  Inflation Reduction Act is an example of how policy can benefit business growth.           

He also pointed to the Chips and Science Act which was also passed about a year ago as an example of legislation that will be a great benefit to the US economy and job growth. 

Biden says since its passage semiconductor companies have been investing heavily to create products in the US.

As the U.S. economy has healed from the coronavirus pandemic, hiring has surged at factories. Manufacturing jobs have climbed to their highest totals in nearly 15 years. It’s the  first time since the 1970s that manufacturing employment has fully recovered from a recession, expanding by 789,000 jobs since Biden took office.

But the pace of job growth at manufacturers has slowed over the past year. Factories were adding roughly 500,000 workers annually last summer, a figure that in the government's most recent jobs report fell to 125,000 gains over the past 12 months.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.