After signing the CHIPS Act into law earlier this month, which aims to increase domestic chip production, President Biden claimed it would lead to “more than $1 million construction jobs alone over the next 6 years building semiconductor factories in America.” It turns out, that figure is completely wrong.
A White House official said it was a “mix up,” but this number was not something Biden said off-script. He said it in official remarks while signing the bill, then tweeted the statement from his official Twitter account.
Investments in the CHIPS and Science Law will create more than 1 million construction jobs alone over the next 6 years building semiconductor factories in America.— President Biden (@POTUS) August 11, 2022
Since Biden cited “an analysis” to support the claim, The Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler asked to see it and was pointed to a 2021 Semiconductor Industry Association report, which is hardly a neutral source.
When we dug into the report, moreover, we could not find any reference to 1 million construction jobs being created. Instead, the report predicted such an investment — roughly equivalent to the Chips Act — would create “an average of 185,000 temporary jobs annually throughout the U.S. economy from 2021 to 2026.”
Six times 185,000 adds up to more than 1 million. But note that these are not all construction jobs. In fact, few are construction jobs.
“The statement about 1 million construction jobs is not accurate,” said Sarah Ravi, a spokeswoman for the association. She directed us to a chart in the report that indicated that a $50 billion investment would create an additional 6,200 construction jobs. (The Washington Post)
Needless to say, Kessler gave the claim "four Pinocchios." It was not simply a "mix up," as the White House claimed. "It was an egregious lie which fooled a lot of people," our colleagues at Hot Air point out, and one which has not been corrected by removing the tweet or updating the official record.