Biden Touts ‘Historic Progress’ as U.S. Economy Adds 850,000 Jobs in June

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Touts ‘Historic Progress’ as U.S. Economy Adds 850,000 Jobs in June” – below is their description.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks Friday on the June jobs report after American employers added 850,000 jobs in June, well above the average of the previous three months and a sign that companies may be having an easier time finding enough workers to fill open jobs.

“It is a good morning. We had prepared to celebrate Independence Day. Today’s job news brought us something else to celebrate,” Biden said speaking at the White House.

“More jobs than have ever been created in the first five months of any presidency in modern history,” he said. “This is historic progress, pulling our economy out of the worst crisis in 100 years.”

Friday’s report from the Labor Department was the latest sign that the reopening of the economy is propelling a powerful rebound from the pandemic recession.

Restaurant traffic across the country is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, and more people are shopping, traveling and attending sports and entertainment events. The number of people flying each day has regained about 80% of its pre-COVID-19 levels.

The report also suggested that American workers are enjoying an upper hand in the job market as companies, desperate to staff up in a surging economy, dangle higher wages.

In June, average hourly pay rose a solid 3.6% compared with a year ago – faster than the pre-pandemic annual pace. In addition, a rising proportion of newly hired workers are gaining full-time work, as the number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs tumbled – a healthy sign.

Biden touted the job gains and suggested that his economic policies, including a $1.9 trillion economic relief plan that was enacted in March, were intended to make it easier for workers to find higher-paying jobs.

“The strength of our recovery is helping us flip the script,” Biden said. “Instead of workers competing with each other for jobs that are scarce, employers are competing with each other to attract workers.”

Friday’s report showed that the unemployment rate rose from 5.8% in May to 5.9% in June. Despite the job market’s steady gains, unemployment remains well above the 3.5% rate that prevailed before the pandemic struck, and the economy remains 6.8 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level.

With competition for workers intensifying, especially at restaurants and tourist and entertainment venues, some employers are also offering signing and retention bonuses and more flexible hours. The proportion of job advertisements that promise a bonus has more than doubled in the past year, the employment website Indeed has found.

That is bringing more workers off the sidelines and back into jobs.

The proportion of Americans in their prime working years – aged 25 through 54 – who are working or looking for work rose at a solid pace, though it is still below pre-pandemic levels.

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