President Biden hails jobs report: 'It’s a good time to be a worker in America'

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday applauded the results of the December jobs report, which showed slowing but still strong hiring growth that came in 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 are up in recent months, gas prices are down, and we are seeing welcome signs that inflation is coming down as well. It’s a good time to be a worker in America.”

The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in December, beating economist expectations of 202,000, while the unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1969 at 3.5%. In total, 4.5 million jobs were added in the U.S. throughout 2022.

According to the report, the unemployment rate stands 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 nearly the same for men and women, at 3.1% and 3.2%, respectively.

“The first two years of my presidency – 2021 and 2022 — were the two strongest years of job growth on record,” Biden said. “And in December, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in the last 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 country’s history.”

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

“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 stressed that while the latest jobs report indicated a positive trajectory for the U.S. economy, inflation remains a persistent issue for millions of Americans. The latest CPI print released in December showed a 7.1% annual increase in prices, which represented the second-straight month of moderation.

“We still have work to do to bring down inflation, and help American families feeling the cost-of-living squeeze,” Biden said. “We have more work to do, and we may face setbacks along the way, but it is clear that my economic strategy of growing the economy from the bottom up and middle out is working. And we are just getting started.”

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

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