Biden touts 'historic progress' on economy as jobs numbers fall short

·Senior Writer
·2-min read

President Biden on Friday commented on the latest jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy had added back more than half a million jobs in May and the jobless rate fell to a new pandemic-era low.

"This is progress, historic progress," Biden said in a speech in Rehoboth Beach, Del., where he celebrated first lady Jill Biden's 70th birthday on Thursday. "America is finally on the move again."

The president praised Americans for wearing masks and getting vaccinated to help buoy the economy, saying that "signs of further progress are already here."

But the new jobs numbers came in below expectations for the second straight month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 559,000 new jobs were added to the economy in May, falling short of the 675,000 that some economic experts had expected.

It’s an improvement on the disappointing April report, which saw just 277,000 jobs added after experts had predicted nearly a million.

The unemployment rate, which was 6.1 percent in April, fell to 5.8 percent — the lowest it has been since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year.

President Biden talks about the U.S. economy in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Friday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Biden talks about the U.S. economy in Rehoboth Beach, Del., on Friday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In his remarks, Biden warned that "we're going to hit some bumps along the way" on the road to economic recovery.

"While progress is undeniable," the president added, "it is not assured."

After concluding his speech, Biden was asked about progress on infrastructure talks ahead of another scheduled discussion with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., whom he met with Wednesday.

"I'm going to be having a talk this afternoon, and I'll let you know after," Biden said.

The president was also asked whether he still has confidence in Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Biden's top coronavirus adviser, who has come under fire from conservatives in recent weeks.

"Yes, I'm very confident in Dr. Fauci," Biden replied.

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