By Victor Reklaitis
President Joe Biden on Friday played up the drop in the country’s unemployment rate but didn’t mention a disappointing headline number, as he gave a brief speech on a monthly jobs report.
Biden said it was “incredible news” that the U.S. unemployment rate had fallen to 4.2% in November.
“At this point in the year, we’re looking at the sharpest one-year decline in unemployment ever,” he said, adding that the jobless rate “has now fallen by more than two percentage points since I took office.”
The president’s speech at the White House came after the November release for nonfarm payrolls showed the country gained 210,000 new jobs last month , well below forecasts for 573,000. But on the plus side, the unemployment rate fell to a new COVID-19 pandemic low of 4.2% and the labor force grew substantially.
“Because of the extraordinary strides we’ve made, we can look forward to a brighter, happier new year ahead in my view, but I also know that despite this progress, families are anxious,” Biden said.
“That’s why every day my team and I are working to deliver consistent, determined, focused action to overcome the challenges we still face.”
In response to a question from a reporter about his health following his speech, the president said he has “just a cold,” suggesting he got it from his “1½-year-old grandson who had a cold who likes to kiss his pop.”
U.S. stock gauges (S&P:SPX) (DOW:DJIA) lost ground Friday as traders assessed the jobs report.