President Joe Biden declared his “plan is working” Friday after a jobs increase of 943,000 in July, but he also warned that the message was still not celebratory as the U.S. battles the delta variant.
In addition to the 943,000 added jobs, the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, according to data released Friday by the Department of Labor. While an improvement, the unemployment rate was at 3.5% before the global pandemic, BLS data indicates.
“While we doubtlessly will have ups and downs along the way as we continue to battle the delta surge of COVID, what is indisputable now is this: The Biden plan is working, the Biden plan produces results, and the Biden plan is moving the country forward,” Biden said during remarks Friday.
The jobs report beat out predictions of 845,000 additional jobs, and June’s unemployment rate was sitting at 5.9%, MarketWatch reported. Still, after touting his administration’s efforts, the president said his message was “not one of celebrations.”
“It’s one to remind us we got a lot of hard work left to be done, both to beat the delta variant and to continue our advance of economic recovery,” Biden said, echoing the message from his administration regarding the variant that’s believed to be more contagious.
While the jobs report provided positive numbers, the administration is battling many critics who point out the steep rise in inflation. Consumer prices have continued to spike and are moving at the fastest year pace since 2008, according to CNN.
The administration claims this is a temporary increase, but Republicans, some Democrats and Wall Street CEOs have expressed concern, CNN noted. Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin noted Thursday in a letter that he’s “increasingly alarmed that the Fed continues to inject record amounts of stimulus into our economy.” (RELATED: The Numbers Are In, Biden’s Inflation Is Not Going Away)
Biden also highlighted the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the American Rescue Plan, noting that the latter “gave us the tools to fight the pandemic and rebuild our economy.” He repeated the now-common message that the pandemic is “of the unvaccinated” and said it’s taking a “needless toll on our country.”
“Yes, cases are gonna go up before they come back down,” the president said. “It’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and I’ve said it constantly and others have as well.”