Biden praises strong wage increase, dismisses weak job growth

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On Friday, President Joe Biden said that his office had promised a strong economy and the increase in wages that have been seen in the first year of his administration has shown that the economy is strong. Earlier on the same day, the Labor Department had released data through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Average hourly earning increased by 0.6 percent in December. However, the increase year-over-year is much higher and stands at 4.7 percent. Almost all sectors and industries have seen an increase in hourly wage, although the biggest gains were made by those who work in the leisure, hospitality and restaurant business. Wages in this private sector saw a huge rise of 14.1 percent. This is the highest rise among all jobs.

In his remarks at the White House, President Biden said that this was the economy he “promised and hoped for.” He added that it was an economy where the “biggest benefits” went to the people who worked the “hardest” and who were “more often left behind.” He called them the people who had been ignored before. He said that they were people who just wanted a “decent chance to build a decent life for their families.”

Biden said that the national labor shortage was due to reason that the workers have more choices rather than the government pandemic benefits that his critics tout as the reason why people have stopped working.

He also brushed aside links between higher wages and increased inflation rates. He dismissed the criticism of Republicans and some economists against him and called it “malarkey.”

The data said that although the unemployment rate had fallen to a new low, the nation added fewer jobs than expected. Data released by the BLS said that 199,000 nonfarm payrolls had been added in December and the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent.

The Dow Jones had estimated that the increase in the number of payrolls would be 422,000 while the unemployment fate would be at 4.1 percent.

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