WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill say the latest jobs report is proof the administration’s plan to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is working, but President Joe Biden says it is still too early to celebrate as the delta variant continues to spread.
“Jobs are up, the unemployment rate is the lowest since the pandemic hit,” Biden said Friday.
The president says his American Rescue Plan is putting people back to work. According to the Labor Department, the U.S. added 943,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent.
“Decisive proof that the Biden administration and the Democrats build back better economy is working,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
The increase in jobs was much higher than most analysts had predicted. White House Economic adviser Heather Boushey is optimistic the gains from the July will continue into next month.
“The trends are certainly moving in the right direction,” she said.
But President Biden says there’s still a long road ahead.
“My message today is not one of ‘celebrate,’ it is one to remind us we have a lot of hard work,” he said.
Some economists say the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 could cause economic uncertainty.
“Businesses tend to be a little bit more conservative on hiring, on investing and on taking risk – and that could pose a headwind to the economic recovery,” Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride explained.
Republicans issued statements on Friday declaring that the fastest job growth is in Republican-led states. The GOP also continues to point to rising prices and an overheated economy that they say threatens the middle class with inflation.
But Boushey says the country is in a strong position.
“What the President focused on is making sure that folks have the resources and the tools to get back to business,” she said.