September 27, 2022


WASHINGTON – Still testing positive for COVID-19 and just a week after readings suggested the US economy had entered a recession, President Joe Biden donned his Ray-Ban sunglasses on Friday to take a victory lap over a strong exposure to jobs.

“It’s the lowest unemployment rate in America in 50 years: 3.5%. Yes, 3.5%. Today, there are more people working in America than there were before the pandemic began,” Biden told a small group of reporters gathered before him on the Blue Room balcony overlooking the South Lawn. “In fact, there are more people working more than at any point in American history.”

The Labor Department announced early Friday that the economy had added 528,000 new jobs in July, a staggering number more than double what economists had predicted. The previous months numbers were also revised slightly upwards.

On July 28, a different federal report showed the country’s gross domestic product had contracted 0.9 percent in the second quarter of the year – the second straight quarter of negative growth. This has been the shorthand definition for recessions in the past. But it may not be an accurate indicator after the government’s response to the pandemic, which included pumping trillions into the economy to prevent it from collapsing.

Biden made no mention of that, instead focusing on the employment situation, which included another big increase in the number of manufacturing jobs.

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

Biden said he understands many Americans are struggling because of high inflation rates, but that the new compromise legislation — which lead architect Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va) has called the Lower Inflation Act — will help address that.

“This bill is a game-changer for working families in our economy,” he said.

Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on July 21. With both the initial vaccinations and two booster doses, however, his symptoms were mild, according to the White House. He was also prescribed the new antiviral Paxlovid and continued to work throughout.

After testing negative on July 26, Biden began testing positive again on Saturday, a common occurrence among those who have taken Paxlovid.





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