WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – America is seeing record job growth, according to a new labor report. The numbers released Friday are much higher than expected, even as the country battles a surge in omicron cases.
The report says the U.S. added 467,000 new jobs in January. It was a welcome surprise for the Biden administration.
“America’s job machine is going stronger than ever,” President Joe Biden said.
The jobs report also showed that unemployment is up, but only slightly. Many economists say that’s a positive thing, because it means more people are looking to return to the workforce.
Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse says the report is a sign the economy is trending in the right direction.
“In the last three months, we’ve seen job growth on average of a little over half a million jobs per month and it suggests that we’ve got a robust, solid labor market recovery,” Rouse said.
For several weeks, Republicans like Sen. John Thune of South Dakota have been focused on the problem of rising prices.
“We’re going to continue to talk about how inflation is at the highest level it’s been in 40 years and the impact that’s having on the pocketbooks of Americans all over the place,” Thune said.
Although average wages are also up, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri says they aren’t keeping up with inflation.
“You compare that growth in income to the inflationary cost and it’s not it’s not a growth in income at all to working families,” Blunt said.
President Biden agrees that prices are too high.
“Average people are getting clobbered by the cost of everything today,” Biden said.
He says he’s working on resolving supply chain issues, as well as pushing other parts of his agenda like helping pay for child care and lowering prescription drug costs.
“There’s a lot we can do to give families a little extra breathing room,” Biden said.
Rouse insists January’s report gives reason to be optimistic about the future.
“What this tells us is we have the tools as we try to manage our way through this pandemic and keep our economy going as well,” Rouse said.
The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates next month in an attempt to bring down inflation.