‘It’s a good time to be a worker in America’

‘It’s a good time to be a worker in America’

US President Joe Biden on Friday applauded the results of the December jobs report, which showed a slowing but still strong employment growth that was above expectations.

“These historic jobs and unemployment gains are giving workers more power and American families more breathing room,” Biden said in a statement. “Real wages have risen in recent months, gas prices are down and we are seeing welcome signs that inflation is also falling. It’s a great time to be a worker in America.”

The US added 223,000 jobs in December, beating economists’ expectations of 202,000, while the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 1969 at 3.5%. In total, 4.5 million jobs were added in the US during 2022.

According to the report, the unemployment rate is 3% for white Americans, 5.7% for black Americans and 4.1% for Hispanic/Latino Americans, which Biden highlighted in his statement. The unemployment rate is almost the same for men and women, 3.1% and 3.2% respectively.

“The first two years of my presidency — 2021 and 2022 — were the two strongest years of job growth in history,” Biden said. “And in December, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 50 years. Unemployment is near record lows for black and Hispanic Americans, and the unemployment rate for people with disabilities has never been lower in our nation’s history.

Job growth showed some signs of slowing in December, a potentially welcome sign for the Federal Reserve as it tries to reduce inflation. Average monthly job gains have fallen from about 600,000 at the end of 2021 to about 200,000 at the end of last year, Biden said.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about security and enforcement of the U.S.-Mexico border, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 5, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“This moderation in job growth is appropriate, and we should expect it to continue in the months ahead, even as we maintain resilience in our labor market recovery,” Biden said.

The president emphasized that while the latest jobs report showed a positive trajectory for the US economy, inflation remains an ongoing issue for millions of Americans. The latest CPI print released in December showed a 7.1% annual increase in prices, which represented the second consecutive month of moderation.

The story continues

“We still have work to do to lower inflation and help American families feel the cost of living squeeze,” Biden said. “We have more work to do and may face obstacles along the way, but it is clear that my economic strategy to grow the economy from the bottom up and from the middle is working. And we’re just getting started.”

Adriana Belmonte is a reporter and editor covering health care policy and politics for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter @adrianambells and contact him at [email protected]

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