The nation's economy added 531,000 jobs in October, according to Friday's report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent — down from 6.3 percent when President Joe Biden took office in January.
A month ago, Republicans attacked Biden when initial jobs numbers for September showed only 194,000 jobs added.
"President Biden's delusions have suggested for months his economic plan is 'working,'" wrote House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "Anyone who saw today's jobs report knows it's failing."
"Today's disappointing jobs report is more evidence that President Biden's economic agenda is failing the American people," complained Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan.
"This is more than a disappointment. This is a wake-up call to the impact of the Democrats' spending spree," charged Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse.
But the latest report also found that those preliminary numbers were too low and that the actual number of jobs added in September was closer to 312,000. The August totals were also revised up, from 366,000 jobs gained to 483,000, meaning 235,000 more jobs were added over those two months than previously estimated.
Commenting on the jobs report, Biden said Friday, "This did not happen by accident or just because. We laid the foundation for this recovery with my American Rescue Plan."
As of Thursday, Republicans were still attacking Biden on jobs. Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, tweeted, "October Jobs Report tomorrow. Let's recap: Dreadful jobs growth last 2 months. Economy flatlined Q3. #Biden 1 million jobs short of promises. Nearly half of Americans see a recession ahead. Inflation now as big a fear as COVID. Labor shortage/supply chain crisis."
On Friday, Brady claimed that "more Americans are finally coming back to work" only because of "the end of President Biden's lavish unemployment bonuses and stimulus checks," which expired at the beginning of September. But 26 states had opted to end those unemployment benefits prior to September, and studies have shown their doing so did little to get people back to work.
In his 2020 Republican National Convention convention speech, Trump falsely claimed that electing Biden would mean the economy would shut down again, reversing any jobs recovery that had occurred.
But Biden has pushed for economic reopening and promised in January that the American Rescue Plan would be the first step in "creating millions of additional good-paying jobs."
It appears to be working: The Washington Post noted Friday that about 80 percent of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic have now been recovered.
Experts say that enactment of other pieces of Biden's economic agenda — including the $550 billion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better climate and jobs package — would help support millions of additional jobs.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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