Biden says economy is ‘stronger,’ despite disappointing job numbers

Biden says economy is ‘stronger,’ despite disappointing job numbers

President Biden insisted Friday that the economy remains strong, despite a disappointing November jobs report from the Department of Labor.

Speaking at the White House, Mr. Biden said Americans should focus on the number of jobs created throughout the year, not just in November, when employers added far fewer jobs than expected.

“We’ve averaged 400,000 new jobs a month over the last three months, a solid pace,” Mr. Biden said. “All told, in the first 10 full months of my administration, the economy created 6 million jobs, a record for a new president.”

“Because of the extraordinary strides we’ve made, we can look forward to a brighter, happier new year ahead in my view,” he said.

U.S. employers added 210,000 jobs in November, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Labor.

That’s the lowest level of hiring since December 2020, when the economy was shedding jobs as COVID-19 cases surged. It’s also less than half of the 573,000 new jobs forecasted by Dow Jones.

Overall, the economy is still down about 3.9 million jobs from pre-pandemic levels.

The jobs report did include a bit of good news for Mr. Biden, as unemployment fell to 4.2% in November. That’s a steep decline from the 4.6% recorded in October.

In his remarks, Mr. Biden called the decreasing unemployment numbers are a sign of “incredible progress.”

“At this point in the year, we’re looking at the sharpest one-year decline in unemployment ever,” he said. “It’s not just jobs that are up. Wages are up especially for hardworking Americans often ignored in the past, and past recoveries.”

But some workers are still struggling amid the pandemic recovery. Leisure and hospitality businesses saw a gain of 23,000 jobs in November. The sector still has about 1.3 million jobs fewer than it did in February 2020, and its unemployment rate was stuck at 7.5%.

Republicans seized on the jobs report, blaming Mr. Biden‘s massive spending proposals for weakening the economy.

“This is a miserable jobs report, there’s no spinning it any other way. And due to his mishandling of the economy, President Biden is nearly one million jobs short of his promises from his last $2 trillion spending binge,” said Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. Brady called for the Senate to suspend consideration of Mr. Biden‘s social and climate spending bill until the jobs numbers improve.

“Month after month, Biden‘s economic failures have left American families further and further behind. This jobs report — the worst of the year — proves what Americans are seeing and feeling: the Democrat agenda is an absolute disaster,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.