Biden touts jobs numbers, says he has made ‘significant progress’ in effort to ‘rebuild the middle class’

President Biden Friday praised U.S. job growth, which unexpectedly accelerated in July, saying, “More people are employed than at any time in U.S. history,” and he used job numbers to prove he’s kept his campaign promise to “do the job.” rebuild the middle class”.

Employers added 528,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said in its monthly salary report released Friday, surpassing the 250,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 3.5%, the lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than two years ago.

“Today, the unemployment rate is the lowest in more than 50 years at 3.5%. More people are employed than at any time in US history,” Biden said in a statement. “That’s millions of families with the dignity and peace of mind that a salary offers.

US ECONOMY ADDS 528,000 JOBS IN JULY, BEYOND FURTHER EXPECTATIONS

“And it’s the result of my economic plan to build the economy from the bottom up and from the middle,” Biden continued. “I ran for president to rebuild the middle class — there’s more work to be done, but today’s jobs report shows we’re making significant progress for working families.”

President Biden will deliver a speech on infrastructure spending at the Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Pittsburgh on March 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci/AP Newsroom)

Job growth has defied fears of a hiring slowdown, even as the labor market faces twin threats of scorching inflation and rising interest rates.

The US has now replaced all the jobs lost during the pandemic.

Job growth was broad in July, with leisure and hospitality leading the way in hiring, adding 96,000 new employees. This was followed by business services (89,000), healthcare (70,000) and the government (57,000). Construction created 32,000 new jobs, while industry contributed 30,000.

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The hiring surge comes amid growing consensus that the economy is losing momentum as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates at the fastest pace in decades to bring inflation under control. The Commerce Department reported last week that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the country, shrank 0.6% in the three-month period from April to June. This followed a 1.6% decline in the first three months of the year.

With successive quarterly GDP declines, the economy is meeting the technical criteria for a recession.

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While many economists have argued that the strong job market has so far prevented the US from slipping into a downturn, job growth momentum is expected to cool significantly in the coming months as companies cut staff to meet lower demand.

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