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Biden touts January jobs report that beat expectations despite Omicron surge

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

President Joe Biden on Friday touted the January jobs report that was significantly better than what most economists had predicted, given the rapid surge of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“Our country is taking everything that Covid has to throw at us and we’ve come back stronger,” Biden said, speaking from the White House.

The economy added 467,000 jobs last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday morning, and revisions showed the winter jobs gains were much stronger than initially reported. But the unemployment rate last month inched up from 3.9% to 4%, which is the first increase in the jobless rate since June 2021.

The report overall is welcome news to an administration struggling to combat soaring inflation and high consumer prices. Global supply chain issues and worker shortages are bogging down the US’ economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and economic anxiety among the American public is causing Biden’s approval rating to take a hit.

Friday’s job report showed the US economy added 6.6 million jobs during Biden’s first 12 months in office, making it by far the best-ever first year for a president.

“History has been made here,” Biden said. He touted the “historic economic progress,” the country has seen under his administration and credited his economic policies.

Between November and December, the number of positions added was more than 700,000 jobs higher than initially reported, the government reported on Friday. Jobs gains were also stronger in January and February 2021. But over the summer, the revisions did the opposite. The employment change for June and July was more than 800,000 positions lower than previously reported.

The President praised the Democrat-led House of Representatives passing a bill earlier Friday aimed at making the US more competitive on the global stage and countering China’s growing economic influence.

The bill — America COMPETES Act of 2022 — would make sweeping investments in American manufacturing and scientific research and development as well as changes to trade policy.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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