President Joe Biden celebrated the release of the April jobs report on Friday and continued to advance his economic agenda.
The latest data showed the economy adding 428,000 jobs in April, bringing the total jobs added during Biden's term in office up to 8.3 million. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, marking the "fastest decline in unemployment to start a president’s term ever recorded," the president said.
ECONOMY MARCHED ON IN APRIL WITH 428,000 JOBS, UNEMPLOYMENT AT 3.6%
"This is a direct result of the American Rescue Plan, our COVID vaccination program, and my plan to grow our economy from the bottom up and middle out," he wrote. "When I took office, there were around 20 million people relying on unemployment benefits to feed their families; today, that number is around 1 million — the lowest since 1970. We are building an economy that values the dignity of work."
Biden acknowledged that historic "inflation and high prices are a challenge for families across the country" and said that "fighting inflation is a top priority."
"The continued strength of our job market and the savings that families have built up over the last year means that our economy faces the challenges of COVID-19, Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and global inflation from a position of strength," he said. "There’s more work to do. I encourage congressional Republicans to join us in our efforts to lower prices for families across the country, by making more in America, strengthening our supply chains, and cutting the energy and prescription drug costs."
The unemployment rate and new jobs added on Biden's watch have been the two key data points cited by the White House, even as the economy shrank during the first quarter of 2022.
Asked about the shrinking GDP on Thursday, Jared Bernstein, a member of Biden's Council of Economic Advisers, declined to rule out the country slipping into a recession in the near future.
"I can tell the American people that we are in a much better position when it comes to that recession question than pretty much any other advanced economy I've seen," Bernstein said in an interview on CNN. "You can never rule anything out, so that's not really a relevant question."
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"Is this country, is this economy, in a position of strength to face what's coming at us, especially compared to other economies that face the same pressures?" he said. "I think the answer, if you look at our job numbers, if you look at our GDP growth, if you look at household incomes and how their savings are doing, you would conclude that we are approaching this moment from a position of strength."