President Joe Biden touted a mixed November jobs report on Friday, declaring America to be “back to work” and focusing his speech on the fact that the unemployment rate fell to 4.2%.
While unemployment fell from October’s 4.6% number to 4.2%, there was an underwhelming addition of just 210,000 nonfarm payrolls for November. This was well below forecasters predictions of 573,000, and the president largely avoided discussing this portion of the report.
“At this point in the year, we’re looking at the sharpest one-year decline in unemployment ever,” Biden said, touting that the jobless rate “has now fallen by more than two percentage points since I took office.”
“Simply put, America, America is back to work. Because of the extraordinary strides we’ve made, we can look forward to a brighter, happier New Year, in my view,” he said.
Biden breezed past the less impressive portion of the jobs report, instead shifting the focus to the number of jobs created in the private sector over the course of the past three months. He said that these numbers indicate job growth is improving at “a solid pace” and noted that the six million jobs created by the economy is “a record for a new president.”
“This is a significant improvement from when I took office in January, a sign that we’re on the right track,” Biden said, adding that recalibration from October and September found that 82,000 more jobs were created, marking an average of “around 400,000 new jobs a month over the last few months.”
Biden also brought up the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the new Omicron variant, his Build Back Better Agenda and inflation during Friday’s remarks. On inflation, the president acknowledged that Americans around the country are “anxious about the cost of living.”
“I want you to know I hear you,” Biden said. “It’s not enough to know that we’re making progress. You need to see it and feel it in your own lives, around the kitchen table, in your checkbooks. That’s why every day my team and I are work on consistent actions to overcome the challenges we face. The chief among those challenges is COVID-19.”
“Even after accounting for rising prices, the typical American family has more money in their pockets than they did last year,” Biden concluded. (RELATED: Americans’ Faith In The Economy Plummets Further As Inflation Grows)
Today, we have incredible news that our unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2% – a level experts didn’t expect us to achieve until 2024.
We’ve created 588,000 jobs per month on average this year – a record.
America is back to work, and our jobs recovery is going strong.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 3, 2021
The president reiterated his recently announced plan to combat COVID-19 through the winter. Biden announced Thursday that all at-home tests will be covered by private health insurance, although the details of this plan are still being worked out. He also brought up the administration’s plan to add “hundreds of new family vaccination clinics to make it easier for children and parents” to get vaccinated.
The administration, in light of the Omicron variant, has pushed for fully vaccinated Americans to get the booster and for unvaccinated Americans to get the shot. Biden has urged Americans not to panic over the new variant and the first case in the U.S. was announced on Wednesday. Cases have since been found in states around the country.