President Joe Biden gives a speech at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, United States, Jan.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden responded to the May job report on Friday, saying the steady growth in jobs and falling unemployment are evidence that his economic plan is working.
"Neither of these successes is an accident," said Biden, who spoke in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. "It's not luck. It is not least due to the cooperation of the American people," who wore masks and had themselves vaccinated for Covid-19.
"And that is not least due to the courageous measures we have taken with the American rescue plan," said Biden, referring to the massive Covid relief bill that the Democrats passed in March.
"This is progress that is taking our economy out of the worst crisis in 100 years," said Biden.
Non-farm workers created a solid 559,000 jobs in May, the Ministry of Labor reported. But the number fell short of the 671,000 jobs that economists polled by Dow Jones had expected.
The unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 5.8%, better than the estimate of 5.9%. An alternative measure of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers and part-time workers for economic reasons, also fell to 10.2%.
"Covid cases have decreased. Covid deaths have decreased. Jobless claims have decreased. Hunger has decreased and vaccinations have increased," Biden said. "Jobs have increased. Wages have increased. Production has increased. Growth has increased. The people who get health insurance have increased. The confidence of small businesses has increased. America is finally on the move again."
Despite the gains, the US is still about 7 million jobs behind pre-pandemic times.
As Biden prepared for a meeting with the G7 in England next week, he noted that “no other major economy in the world is growing as fast as ours. No other large economy is gaining jobs as quickly as ours. "
A notable part of the report was an acceleration in wage increases, which rose 2% y / y after rising just 0.4% in April.
Economists had largely dismissed average hourly earnings for much of the post-pandemic period due to compositional factors where the majority of new hires came from higher-income positions. With the return of more hospitality workers, the numbers are more relevant and now point to rising wage pressures.
May's job report is the first full measurement of the job market since the April numbers shock. The revised number of 278,000 jobs created last month fell far short of economists' original expectations of 1 million new jobs.
— CNBC's Jeff Cox contributed to this report.