Biden Makes Case for Slower Job Growth: ‘Consistent, Steady Progress’

By Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino covers the White House.
October 8, 2021 Updated: October 8, 2021

President Joe Biden spoke of “consistent, steady progress” Friday with the release of a jobs report that showed less-than-expected growth for September.

The Labor Department’s jobs report  shows non-farm payroll employment rose by 194,000 last month, down from last month’s upwardly revised 366,000, and far below the FactSet-provided consensus forecasts of 500,000.

“When you take a step back and look what’s happening, we’re actually making real progress,” said Biden. “Maybe it doesn’t seem fast enough. I’d like to see it faster. We’re going to make it faster.”

The unemployment rate dropped last month by less than half a point to 4.8 percent, with the number of unemployed people dropping to 7.7 million nationwide. Those numbers are much lower than they were during last year’s lockdowns, but have still yet to drop to the levels predating the outbreak of the Chinese Communist Party Virus (CCP).

Biden touted the unemployment rate as “a sign that our recovery is moving forward even in the face of a COVID pandemic.” He also pointed to the overall job growth since he took office, which is just under 5 million jobs.

“The unemployment rate is now down to 4.8 percent—in just eight months. We’ve created two-times more jobs under @POTUS in his first nine months than any administration in history,” wrote White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Twitter.

Republicans blame the Biden administration’s policies for this month’s weak jobs report.

In a tweet, Republicans on the House Committee on Small Business wrote:  “With only 194,000 jobs added back to our economy last month, it is clear that President Biden’s failed economic policies are shuttering small businesses,”

And the Republican National Committee said in a statement: “Biden promised to create jobs, he promised he had a secret plan to ‘shut down the virus.’ Trump handed Biden vaccines and a recovery economy, and Biden has still failed at both.”

Republican “red states”, on the whole, have dominated the economic recovery of the pandemic era, recording the lowest rates of unemployment in the United States in August, 2021.

The report showed only slight employment growth in the leisure-and-hospitality industry for a second straight month, with just 74,000 jobs added. The manufacturing sector rose by 27,000 jobs. Government payrolls fell by 123,000 jobs in September.

Biden also continued to make the case for his two multi-trillion-dollar bills stalled in Congress—the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan and a budget-reconciliation bill being negotiated down from $3.5 trillion.

“The jobs numbers also remind us that we have important work ahead of us and important investments we need to make,” he said.

Biden continues to claim the reconciliation bill is a job creator in the “clean energy sector.”

“The whole world knows the future of the auto industry is electric, electric-battery technology,” Biden said. “We need to make sure we build that future instead of falling behind.”

Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino covers the White House.