“While our progress is undeniable, it is not assured,” Biden said while making the case for his twin economic proposals, the American Jobs and the American Families Plan after the government reported 559,000 jobs were added in May.
The President said: “We’re on the right track. Our plan is working. And we’re not going to let up now.”
“No other major economy in the world is growing as fast as ours. No other major economy is gaining jobs as quickly as ours. And none of this success is an accident. It isn’t luck,” Biden said, speaking from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Biden said: “America is finally on the move again. As we continue this recovery, we’re going to hit some bumps along the way. Of course, that’ll happen. We can’t reboot the world’s largest economy like flipping on a light switch. There’s going to be ups and downs in jobs and economic reports.”
The May jobs report showed the US labor market picking up some steam and was an improvement from the disappointing April jobs report. The unemployment rate also fell to 5.8% in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
Though it was an improvement from April, which showed a revised 278,000 jobs added, the number of jobs added last month was still less than the 650,000 jobs economists had predicted. The US is also still down 7.6 million jobs compared to February 2020, before lockdowns were put in place across the country to stop the spread of Covid-19.
But labor force participation rate was at 61.6% in May, which shows the unemployment rate went down because people found jobs and not because they dropped out of the workforce.
Biden on Friday touted his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief law that he signed into law earlier this year, which delivered economic relief directly to Americans and businesses across the country.
More than 50% of American adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Covid-19 cases have been declining.
The President’s comments come ahead of a call he is expected to hold with top Republican negotiator Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia about the infrastructure package on Friday afternoon, a source familiar with the plan tells CNN.
Republican lawmakers and the White House remain far apart on reaching a bipartisan deal on an infrastructure proposal. Earlier this week, Biden offered to bring the price tag down to $1 trillion but said he wanted to ensure it amounts to “new money,” and not redirected from funding already approved by Congress as Senate Republicans have been demanding, a GOP source briefed on the talks said.
Biden’s proposal, which initially was $2.25 trillion, centers on rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and moving the country to more green energy. Republicans have taken issue with the size and scope of the plan, as well as how Biden plans to pay for it. The President has proposed corporate tax hikes to pay for his plan, and Republicans say making any changes to the 2017 tax cuts that were signed into law under then-President Donald Trump is a “red line” in negotiations.
This story is breaking and will be updated.