WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden on Friday touted an unexpected economic win after the January jobs report exceeded expectations than what most economists had predicted despite the ongoing threat of the Omicron variant.
“Our country is taking everything that COVID’s thrown at us. We’ve come back stronger,” Biden said. “I’m pleased to report this morning, many of you already know, that America’s job machine is going stronger than ever.”
The January jobs report saw an increase in jobs, adding 467,000 in the month, which is far more than the 150,000 jobs that economists’ originally predicted. The surprising number proves the American economy is strong despite the unemployment rate was little changed at 4%.
The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also showed 709,000 more jobs were added in the previous two months than previously reported despite the pandemic raging throughout the country.
“America is back to work,” Biden said.
The White House braced for a disappointing January jobs report all week long as officials prepared to downplay the report by citing the omicron variant as the reason why the report would be very low due to those with sick leave.
“We just wanted to kind of prepare, you know, people to understand how the data is taken, what they’re looking at, and what it is an assessment of. And as a result, the month’s jobs report may show job losses in large part because workers were out sick from Omicron at the point when it was peaking during the period when — the week where the data was taken,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
The report is welcome news for the Biden administration, which has been struggling to combat soaring inflation along with high prices with food and gas. Supply chain issues around the globe and worker shortages have put a damper on economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Americans feeling anxiety about the economy.
As a result, Biden’s approval rating has taken a hit. On Friday, the President touted the U.S. economy created 6.6 million jobs during his first 12 months in office — a figure no recent president has matched.
“If you can’t remember another year when so many people went to work in this country, there’s a reason. It never happened,” Biden said. “Take a look at the chart. You can look at the last, all the way back to President Reagan.”
Restaurants and bars, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, added 100,000 jobs in January. The service industry and business services jobs also went up last month. Between November and December 2021, the number of positions added was 700,000 jobs higher than first reported.
“I know it hasn’t been easy. I know that January was a very hard month for many Americans. I know that after almost two years, the physical and emotional weight of the pandemic has been incredibly difficult to bear for so many people,” Biden said.
“But here’s the good news,” Biden continued. “We have the tools to save lives and to keep businesses open and keep schools open. Keep workers on the job.”