U.S. economy is 'on the move,' Biden says as jobs jump

A sign advertising job openings is seen outside of a Starbucks in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., May 26, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden hailed Friday’s strong monthly jobs report, saying it was a sign that his economic and pandemic-fighting strategies were working.

“This is historic progress, pulling our economy out of the worst crisis in 100 years, driven in part by our dramatic progress in vaccinating our nation and beating back the pandemic as well as other elements of the American Rescue plan,” Biden said in remarks at the White House.

“To put it simply, our economy is on the move,” Biden said.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which passed Congress in March without any Republican support, pumped money into businesses, households and local governments.

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the United States added 850,000 more jobs in June, ahead of analyst expectations and a sign the economic recovery may be accelerating. read more

More than 22 million jobs evaporated when schools and businesses were shut down in March 2020 to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus; the United States is now about 6.7 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels.

Friday’s report suggests the United States may return to pre-pandemic employment levels earlier than once expected, White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein said in an interview with Reuters.

The Congressional Budget Office’s new economic forecast, released Thursday, “shows that the unemployment rate, in their expectation, hits 3.6% by the end of next year,” Bernstein said. “That’s close to a 50-year low,” he said.

Previously, the year-end CBO unemployment rate forecast was about 5%, he noted.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Pete Schroeder; Writing by Heather Timmons; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Jonathan Oatis

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