Biden maintains optimism on US economy


US unemployment rate falls to 4.2%

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — While a lower-than-expected 210,000 jobs were added in November, the White House has an optimistic tone about the overall shape of the US economy.

Despite the disappointing jobs report — economists predicted about 500,000 jobs would be added — President Joe Biden said the report contained “incredible news.”

“Our economy is markedly stronger than it was a year ago. And today the incredible news that our unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2%,” Biden said in remarks at the White House.

Since Biden took office, the unemployment rate has dropped more than 2%.

“The CBO had predicted we wouldn’t get to this level of unemployment in 3 years,” said Cecilia Rouse with the Council of Economic Advisers.

“At this point in the year, we’re looking at the sharpest one-year decline in unemployment ever,” Biden said.

The President also said wages are up by about 10% in the transportation and warehouse industries and by 13% for workers in hotels and restaurants. Combined with tax credits to families, Biden said, many Americans are better off today than before he took office — even after accounting for rising inflation.

“We’re the only leading economy in the world where household income and the economy as a whole are stronger than they were before the pandemic,” he said.

GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy said the White House is downplaying economic concerns caused by inflation and supply chain problems.

“I’m sure the White House will try to spin it one way,” McCarthy said. “But there were supposed to be 500,000 jobs. Especially during a seasonal hiring period, much less than that.”

Earlier this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the supply chain problems and inflation are due to the pandemic and that economists still widely expect inflation and prices to fall significantly over the next year.

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