WASHINGTON — Still testing positive for COVID-19 and just a week after metrics suggested the U.S. economy entered a recession, President Joe Biden donned his Ray-Ban sunglasses on Friday to take a victory lap on a strong employment report.
“That’s the lowest unemployment rate in America in the last 50 years: 3.5%. Yes, 3.5%. Today there are more people working in America than before the pandemic started,” Biden told a small group of reporters gathered before him on the balcony of the Blue Room overlooking the South Lawn. “In fact, there are more people working than at any time in American history.”
The Labor Department reported Friday morning that the economy added 528,000 new jobs in July, a staggering number more than double what economists had expected. Figures for previous months were also revised slightly upwards.
On July 28, another federal report showed the country’s gross domestic product fell 0.9% in the last three months of the year – the second straight quarter of negative growth. This has been the shorthand definition of recessions in the past. But that may not be an accurate indicator after the government’s response to the pandemic, which involved pumping trillions into the economy to keep it from collapsing.
Biden made no mention of it, instead focusing on the employment situation, which included another sharp increase in the number of manufacturing jobs.
“Today’s jobs report is part of a larger story,” Biden said. He then attributed the numbers to his economic policies. He also took the opportunity to sell the new agreement among congressional Democrats to pass a scaled-down version of the comprehensive ‘Build Back Better’ agenda he pushed on the campaign trail and in his first year and a half in office. power.
Biden said he understands many Americans are struggling with high inflation rates, but the new compromise legislation — which lead architect Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va) has dubbed the law on reducing inflation – will help solve this problem.
“This bill is a game-changer for working families in our economy,” he said.
Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on July 21. With the two initial vaccinations and two booster doses, however, his symptoms were mild, according to the White House. He was also prescribed the new antiviral drug Paxlovid, and he continued to work throughout the period.
After testing negative on July 26, Biden began testing positive again on Saturday, a common occurrence among those who have taken Paxlovid.
The Huffington Gt