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President Joe Biden hailed the surprisingly strong U.S. employment report Friday, declaring, “America’s job machine is going stronger than ever.”
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
In a burst of hiring and despite the predictions of many economists, America’s employers added 467,000 jobs in January, a sign of the economy’s resilience even in the face of a wave of omicron infections last month.
The government’s report Friday also drastically revised up its estimate of job gains for November and December by a combined 709,000. It also said the unemployment rate ticked up from 3.9 percent to a still-low 4 percent, mainly because more people began looking for work and not all of them found jobs right away.
Biden called it an example of the “extraordinary resilience and grit of the American people and American capitalism.”
“Our country is taking everything that COVID is a throw at us, and we’ve come back stronger,” he said.
The strong hiring growth for January, which defied expectations for only a slight gain, demonstrates the eagerness of many employers to hire even as the pandemic raged. Businesses appear to have seen the omicron wave as having, at most, a temporary impact on the economy and remain confident about longer-term growth.
But Biden said despite the strong numbers, there is still “a lot of work to do” to tackle inflation.
“Average people are getting clobbered by the cost of everything. Gas prices at the pump are up. We’re working to bring them down, but they’re up,” he said.
The president said his administration is working to strengthen the supply chain issues that are keeping prices at elevated levels while also working with Congress on policies that will give families “a little extra breathing room.”
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