President Biden said Friday that the economy is continuing to grow despite Labor Department data released earlier in the day showing weaker-than-expected growth in the employment market.
“Unemployment near a record low and the share of working-age Americans who have jobs at a 20-year high: that’s Bidenomics,” the president said in a statement.
The report also found that unemployment dipped slightly to 3.5 last month from 3.6 in June and average hourly wages grew 4.4%, slower than last year.
Mr. Biden’s positive rhetoric on the economy followed the release of a relatively modest July jobs report, which showed America’s employers added 187,000 jobs last month. The number fell short of the 200,000 jobs that were expected to be added to the economy. It also remained static from June, when 185,000 jobs were added.
Republicans were quick to contradict Mr. Biden, who is vacationing at his beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
“Bidenomics is simple: you pay more to get less. Families and small businesses, who are already failing to keep up with sky-high prices and falling real wages, are left to foot the bill as Biden bounces from vacation to vacation avoiding any accountability or responsibility for his failed economy,” said Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel.
The president said the 187,000 are part of the 13.4 million jobs created since he took office, bragging that it was more jobs added in the first two and half years of any president’s term.
Mr. Biden is claiming credit for millions of jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic that has since returned. According to a study by the House budget committee, nearly 72% of all job gains since 2021 were jobs that were restored from the pandemic, not new job creation.
In 2020, the economy shed 9.4 million jobs due to COVID-19 lockdowns, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. That means if 13.4 million jobs were filled under Mr. Biden’s watch, at least two-thirds were just old jobs coming back.
It also puts Mr. Biden’s job creation at roughly 4 million during his first two years in office, down from the 5 million created under former President Donald Trump in his first two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While the economy is still adding jobs, fewer industries are hiring, the report released Friday said. The percentage of firms creating jobs compared to the number reducing positions reached a record low in July, a sign the labor market is cooling off.
Another sign of a weaker labor market was that the number of hours people worked last month dropped to 34.3, a post-pandemic low. Businesses typically cut hours before resorting to layoffs when the economy slows.