WASHINGTON – Still testing positive for COVID-19 and barely a week after metrics suggesting the American economy had entered a recession, President Joe Biden donned his trademark Ray-Ban sunglasses Friday to take a victory lap over a strong jobs report.
“It’s the lowest unemployment rate in America in the last 50 years: 3.5%. Yes, 3.5%. Today, there are more people working in America than before the pandemic began,” Biden said to a small group of reporters gathered before him on the Blue Room balcony overlooking the South Lawn. “In fact, there are more there are more people working than at any point in American history.”
The Labor Department announced early Friday the economy had added 528,000 new jobs in July, a staggering number more than twice what economists were predicting. Previous months’ numbers were revised slightly upward as well.
On July 28, a different federal report showed that the country’s gross domestic product had shrunk by 0.9% in the second three months of the year – the second straight quarter of negative growth. That has been the shorthand definition for recessions in the past. But it may not be an accurate indicator following the government’s pandemic response, which involved pumping trillions into the economy to prevent it from collapsing.
Biden made no mention of that, instead focusing on the employment situation, which included another large increase in the number of manufacturing jobs.
“Today’s jobs report is part of a broader…
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