Biden uses weaker-than-expected May jobs report to tout economic agenda

President Biden quotes May Jobs Report on Friday as evidence that its economic plan is working and the US is prepared for a full recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, despite employers hiring fewer workers than expected in the last month.

“Neither of these successes is an accident,” Biden said during brief remarks in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. “It’s out of luck … This is not least due to the courageous measures we have taken with the American rescue plan. This is progress that will bring our economy out of the worst crisis in 100 years. “

The Ministry of Labor said in its Friday report Friday that employers created 559,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, which fell short of Wall Street’s expectations of an increase of about 650,000. Still, it marked a huge improvement from April when the economy added a revised 278,000 jobs – much less than the 1 million that refinitive economists had forecast.

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Biden called the report “great news for our economy” but cautioned that there will be “some bumps” on the way to a full recovery. There are still around 7.4 million fewer jobs than in February 2020 before the pandemic started. The president argued the report highlights the need for Congress to pass its $ 1.8 trillion American Family Plan and its $ 2.3 trillion American Employment Plan, both of which are dramatically reshaping the state-funded social safety net and, at the same time, the rebuild the country’s crumbling infrastructure.

“Because progress is undeniable, but not assured. So I propose the American Jobs Plan and the American Family Plan for Generational Investment, ”he said. “We need today, we need to make these investments today in order to be able to continue to be successful tomorrow.”

Democrats and Republicans are already using the report to either support or criticize Biden’s $ 4 trillion tax and spending plans that it unveiled earlier this year.

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“If we get out of the virus our economy should be booming, but today’s lackluster employment report shows that President Biden’s policies have stalled our recovery,” tweeted House Minority Chairman Kevin McCarthy after the report was released .

GOP lawmakers have argued that the $ 300-a-week unemployment benefit included in the latest stimulus package has hampered job growth by preventing Americans from returning to work. Experts say there are several reasons behind the anemic job growth, including safety concerns about contracting COVID-19, a lack of childcare facilities, and increased unemployment benefits.

Though some Democrats want to extend the sweetened aid beyond September when it expires, Biden hinted on Friday that he didn’t see it necessary.

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“A temporary increase in unemployment benefits that we decided has helped people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who may still be vaccinated,” he said. “But it’s going to expire in 90 days – it makes sense for it to expire in 90 days.”

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