President Joe Biden has touted a positive jobs report as evidence that the country’s vaccine distribution, as well as the American Rescue Plan, are having a positive effect on the United States’ economy.
U.S. employers added half a million jobs in October to beat market expectations and improve upon a dismal report the month before.
The Labor Department’s jobs report, released Nov. 5, shows that non-farm payroll employment rose by 531,000 last month, while the unemployment rate edged down 0.2 percentage points to 4.6 percent.
And 250,000 more jobs were added to the August and September reports that were initially disappointing.
So far this year, monthly job growth has averaged 582,000 and while 18.2 million jobs have been recovered from the stunning losses at the height of the pandemic lockdowns in April 2020, the U.S. remains 4.2 million jobs down on pre-pandemic levels.
“I would humbly suggest this is significant improvement from when I took office and a sign we’re on the right track,” said Biden in an address Nov. 5.
Biden framed the economic bounce-back from last year’s state-imposed lockdowns as a sign vaccines were having a positive impact—demonstrating need for his soon-to-be-imposed vaccine mandates for more than two-thirds of all American workers.
“For our economy to fully recover, we need to keep vaccination rates up and COVID down,” he said.
The report and Biden’s speech come a day after the administration released a new rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requiring 84 million private sector workers to get vaccinated.
As well as a rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Assistance (CMS) requiring 17 million health care workers participating in federal health programs to be vaccinated.
The deadline for workers in those sectors, as well as federal contractors, to get fully vaccinated is now Jan. 4, 2022.
Earlier in the week, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave the go ahead for kids ages 5 to 11 to get the Pfizer vaccine.
The federal government said it is packing and shipping 28 million doses for children and will have 20,000 vaccine sites set up for children nationwide on Nov. 6.
Biden also said his proposed legislation will continue American economic growth. His $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan and $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” spending plan continue to be debated in Congress.
Biden said those bills would “put us on a path to not only compete, but to win the economic competition of the 21st century against all comers.”
The president called for a House vote on both measures Nov. 5.
Biden did not take questions after his speech, but said: “I’ll be back to answer some of your questions when [the bills] pass.”
Tom Ozimek contributed to this report