Biden touts 'great American comeback' after better-than-expected May jobs report

US President Joe Biden speaks about the economy at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26 union, in Lanham, Maryland, on February 15, 2023.

Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Images

President Joe Biden touted the far better-than-expected May jobs report, boasting about “the great American comeback” and calling out Congressional Republicans’ economic plan in a statement on Friday.

The U.S. economy added 272,000 nonfarm payrolls in May, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, well ahead of the Dow Jones consensus estimate of 190,000. The unemployment rate rose from 3.9% to 4% at the same time, and the labor force participation rate decreased slightly to 62.5%.

“The great American comeback continues, but we still have to make more progress,” Biden said. “On my watch, 15.6 million more Americans have the dignity and respect that comes with a job. Unemployment has been at or below 4% for 30 months—the longest stretch in 50 years. And a record high share of working-age women have jobs.”

The surprisingly strong job growth counters fears of a labor market slowdown and likely reduces the chance that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates in the near future.

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Biden has taken victory laps in recent months as he tries to sell voters on his economic record ahead of the November election, using the Dow’s latest milestone in May as an opportunity to slam former President Donald Trump.

Friday’s jobs statement took a similarly political tone.

“Congressional Republicans have a different vision—one that puts billionaires and special interests first,” Biden said. “The Republican plan would increase inflation by repealing the Affordable Care Act, siding with Big Oil to raise utility bills, letting Big Banks rip off Americans, and blow up the debt by slashing taxes for billionaires.”

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