President Biden remarks on unexpectedly strong jobs report

October 6, 2023

President Biden on Friday touted an unexpectedly strong jobs report and credited his economic plan, which he calls “Bidenomics.” 

The U.S. economy added 336,000 jobs in September—the largest monthly employment gain since January and nearly twice what analysts had expected.

Biden said on Friday that since taking office, his Administration has created 13.9 million new jobs, and that the unemployment rate has stayed below the 4% for 20 months in a row—the longest stretch in 50 years. He further noted a 70-year low in the unemployment rate for women, record lows in unemployment for African-Americans and Hispanic workers, and people with disabilities—“folks who were left behind in previous recoveries and were left behind for too long,” according to Biden

The President pointed to Bidenomics for the jobs numbers, stating “we are growing the economy from the middle out, bottom up, and not the top down.”

He added that inflation is coming down, noting that it has decreased 60% since last summer. Core inflation was just 2.2% over the past three months, according to Biden, who stated, “Now we have the lowest inflation of any major economy in the world.”

He did concede, in answer to a reporter’s question, that “there’s reason for people to be concerned” about the economy and other issues, but added, “I think that the American people…know that they’re better off financially than they were before and that’s a fact. And all that polling stuff shows they’re more positive about the economy than they’ve been, more positive about their jobs, etc. ”

Meanwhile, the unexpectedly high unemployment rate is raising questions about whether the Federal Reserve would have to raise key interest rates yet again.

“Not only does today’s report indicate the economy is almost too hot to handle and the Fed will need to respond with more rate hikes, it reinforces the higher for longer narrative that has been spooking bond markets for the past few weeks,” Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, wrote in an analyst note. “Markets want the perfect landing and instead they are facing an upward sloping path.”

Stocks took a momentary dive upon news of the jobs report, but did recover most of their losses quickly.

Meanwhile, paychecks are no longer growing as quickly as they had been. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% in September from the prior month. From a year earlier, wages were up 4.2%. That was below economists’ expectations of a monthly uptick of 0.3% and annual increase of 4.3%, according to financial data provider Refinitiv.

In his speech Friday, Biden took time to urge Congress to avoid a government shutdown when a temporary stopgap agreement ends in mid-November. 

“House Republicans shouldn’t put us back into crisis mode again,” said the President. “We [now] have only 40 days for Congress to get back to work…to fund the government, avoid a shutdown and protect the tremendous gains American workers have made over the past two-and-a-half years.”

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