- The July jobs report proves stimulus and vaccinations are reviving the economy, Biden said.
- “The Biden plan is working” and helping the country recoup its lost jobs, he added.
- Still, vaccinations need to continue for the labor market to fully recover, the president said.
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President Joe Biden trumpeted the government’s encouraging jobs data on Friday, deeming July’s job gains the result of successful policy – his.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday the US economy added 943,000 jobs in July, which beat economist forecasts and marked the strongest month of payroll creation since last August.
Nearly every facet of the report was positive. The unemployment rate fell more than expected to 5.4%. Employment broadened across racial lines. Wage growth exceeded estimates. And labor-force participation ticked higher, suggesting the worker shortage weakened. At the current pace of job growth, the labor market’s rebound is three times faster than that seen after the Great Recession.
The recovery is far from complete, with about 6 million jobs left to recoup. But the July print proves the White House’s strategy is effective, Biden said.
“We doubtlessly will have ups and downs along the way as we continue to battle the Delta surge of COVID,” he added. “What is indisputable now is this: The Biden plan is working, the Biden plan produces results, and the Biden plan is moving the country forward.”
The president attributed the success to his administration’s vaccination campaign and the $US1.9 ($AU3) trillion stimulus package approved in March. Direct payments of up to $US1,400 ($AU1,907), enhanced unemployment benefits, and small-business loans helped keep employers and jobless Americans afloat until the economy reopened, Biden said. And as the Delta variant continues to spread, vaccination is even more critical to maintaining the recovery’s momentum, he added.
The resurgence in virus cases now looms over the recovery. The July report’s survey period ended halfway through the month and therefore missed the weeks when the Delta variant sent case counts soaring.
Several state and local authorities have already reimposed mask-wearing rules, and a rise in cases could prompt even stricter measures. That risks slamming the brakes on the recovery and weighing on August economic data.
Biden acknowledged the concerns on Friday and reiterated his call for Americans to get vaccinated. The country is in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and protecting against more virus deaths is the key to reaching a healthy normal, Biden said.
“My message today is not one of celebration,” the president added. “It’s one to remind us we’ve got a lot of hard work left to be done, both to beat the Delta variant and to continue our advance of economic recovery.”