Biden Says U.S. Is ‘Back to Work’ After Unemployment Rate Falls
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said Americans are returning to work and the U.S. economy continues a strong rebound from the pandemic, after a Labor Department report on Friday offered a mixed view on the job market.
“Simply put, America, America is back to work,” Biden said in remarks at the White House Friday. “Because of the extraordinary strides we’ve made, we can look forward to a brighter, happier New Year, in my view.”
The country recorded this year’s weakest gain yet in payrolls in November, but increases in each of the two previous months were revised upward and the unemployment rate fell more than forecast to 4.2%.
Nonfarm payrolls climbed 210,000, less than half the median forecast, while the labor force participation rate edged up to 61.8%.
Biden acknowledged widespread anxiety about the economy, driven by higher than normal inflation. Recent polls have shown that most Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction and that the economy isn’t in good condition -- perceptions the president continues to try to change by pointing to favorable economic data like job and wage gains.
“It’s not enough to know we’re making progress,” Biden said Friday. You need to see it and feel it in your own lives around the kitchen table and in your checkbooks.”
The annual pace of inflation exceeded 6 percent in October, the fastest in three decades. Many economists say that unprecedented U.S. consumer demand for material goods is the culprit, a phenomenon that’s also contributing to supply-chain logjams. But Biden said American families are doing better than they may realize.
“Even after accounting for rising prices, the typical American family has more money in their pockets than they did last year,” he said.
The monthly U.S. jobs report is composed of two surveys -- one of employers and the other of households. The employer survey, which determines payroll and wage figures, showed hiring slowed across industries, including declines at automakers and retail outlets. The household survey, which determines the jobless and participation rates, showed employment surged by 1.14 million people and many people came off the sidelines.
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