Days after crossing ‘recession’ threshold, Biden wins lap of 500,000 jobs

WASHINGTON – Still positive for COVID-19, President Joe Biden donned his signature Ray-Ban sunglasses on Friday in a strong statement just a week after indicators showed the U.S. economy had entered a recession. victory in the jobs report.

“This is the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S. in the past 50 years: 3.5 percent. Yes, 3.5 percent. There are more people working in America today than before the pandemic started,” Biden said from the balcony of the Blue House overlooking the South Lawn. said a small group of reporters gathered in front of him. “In fact, more people are working than at any time in American history.”

The Labor Department announced earlier Friday that the economy added 528,000 new jobs in July, more than double what economists had forecast. Data from previous months was also slightly revised upwards.

On July 28, a separate federal report showed the country’s gross domestic product contracted 0.9 percent in the second three months of the year, the second consecutive quarter of negative growth. This is the shorthand definition of a recession in the past. But that may not be an accurate indicator after the government’s response to the pandemic, which includes injecting trillions of dollars into the economy to prevent it from collapsing.

Biden made no mention of this, instead focusing on the employment situation, which includes another big jump in the number of manufacturing jobs.

“Today’s jobs report is part of a broader story,” Biden said. He went on to attribute the numbers to his economic policies. He also used the opportunity to sell a new deal among congressional Democrats to pass a scaled-down version of the sweeping “build back better” agenda he pushed during his campaign and first year and a half in office.

Biden said he understands that many Americans struggle with high inflation, but the new compromise legislation — which chief designer Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va) dubs the Lower Inflation Act — will help solve this problem.

“This bill has transformed working families in our economy,” he said.

Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on July 21. However, after the initial vaccination and two booster doses, his symptoms were mild, the White House said. He was also on the new antiviral drug Paxlovid, and he continued to work throughout the period.

After testing negative on July 26, Biden began testing positive again Saturday, which is common among people taking Paxlovid.

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