President Joe Biden on Friday played up the drop in the country’s unemployment rate but didn’t mention a disappointing headline number, as he gave a brief speech on a monthly jobs report.
Biden said it was “incredible news” that the U.S. unemployment rate had fallen to 4.2% in November.
“At this point in the year, we’re looking at the sharpest one-year decline in unemployment ever,” he said, adding that the jobless rate “has now fallen by more than two percentage points since I took office.”
The president’s speech at the White House came after the November release for nonfarm payrolls showed the country gained 210,000 new jobs last month, well below forecasts for 573,000. But on the plus side, the unemployment rate fell to a new COVID-19 pandemic low of 4.2% and the labor force grew substantially.
“Because of the extraordinary strides we’ve made, we can look forward to a brighter, happier new year ahead in my view, but I also know that despite this progress, families are anxious,” Biden said.
“That’s why every day my team and I are working to deliver consistent, determined, focused action to overcome the challenges we still face.”
In response to a question from a reporter about his health following his speech, the president said he has “just a cold,” suggesting he got it from his “1½-year-old grandson who had a cold who likes to kiss his pop.”
lost ground Friday as traders assessed the jobs report.