US President Joe Biden speaks at the June jobs report at the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House, in Washington, DC on July 2, 2021.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden reacted Friday to June’s jobs numbers, saying the strong growth in employment this spring reflects the success of his US Rescue Plan relief bill and his administration’s nationwide vaccination campaigns.
“We are proving to opponents and skeptics that they were wrong,” Biden said Friday morning at the White House.
“More jobs, better pay – it’s a good combination. Simply put, our economy is progressing, and we have COVID-19 going on,” he said.
The Labor Department said on Friday that job growth in June rose with a sharp recovery in the US economy.
Non-farm payrolls increased by 850,000 for the month, compared with the Dow Jones estimate of 706,000 and better than the revised upwards of 583,000 in May. However, the unemployment rate rose to 5.9%, against the expected 5.6%.
The June report was largely responsible for the impact of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s May 13 announcement that fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to wear masks in crowds or in most indoor settings.
The announcement had a domino effect on state-level mask mandates, helping Americans return to office buildings, health care providers and other activities they had avoided during the previous year.
Biden cited Independence Day weekend as a reason to celebrate more milestones than just the end of the masked mandate.
“There are great things happening there,” he said. “The economy is growing faster than any time in 40 years, we’ve got a record number of new jobs, Covid deaths are down 90%, wages have grown faster than at any time in 15 years, we bringing their troops home… and all over America, people are going to ball games and doing cool things.”
Hiring accelerated in the summer as the second quarter would see a near return to normal for Americans, who had limited activity for the past year because of restrictions related to the pandemic.
As the data continues to grow, economists are expecting GDP growth to reach 10% in the second quarter. It is a surprising continuation of a rebound facilitated by vaccines, which have sharply reduced the rate of hospitalizations and deaths as well as the Covid-19 case rate.
The latest numbers bring the total job recovery from the damages of the pandemic to 15.6 million.
More than 22.3 million Americans were laid off in March and April 2020 amid government-imposed trade restrictions, and the total employment level is below 7.13 million, where it was in February 2020.
“Today’s job news brings us something else to celebrate,” Biden said.
The president will celebrate the success of a vaccination campaign in Michigan on Saturday and introduce his bipartisan infrastructure bill.