U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about U.S. Jobs and Employment Report numbers for August in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on September 1, 2023.
Jonathan Ernest | Reuters
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday hailed new jobs data that showed robust growth over the past month.
“As we head into Labor Day, we should step back and take note that America is currently in one of the strongest periods of job creation in our history,” said Biden in the White House Rose Garden. “It wasn’t that long ago that America was losing jobs.”
The jobs report released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows nonfarm payrolls rose by 187,000 in August, beating estimates of 170,000.
The jobless rate rose to 3.8% from 3.5% in July, and its highest level since February 2022.
Still, Biden noted that last month’s unemployment rate was well below 6.3%, the rate when he took office in January 2021.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% in August, below expectations but still up 4.3% from a year ago.
Federal Reserve officials are watching jobs numbers closely before deciding whether or not to raise interest rates this fall. The Fed would like to see the market calm down and the labor market slow down to help bring inflation back to the traditional 2% target.
Inflation has already fallen to about a third of what it was a year ago. Biden said on Friday that the decline was attributable to his administration’s economic policy.
“Some pundits have said that to get inflation under control we need higher unemployment and lower wages, but I never thought that was the problem,” Biden said. “It is no accident. I came to power with the determination to build the economy in a different way, starting from the bottom and from the base.”