- President Joe Biden on Friday ignored weak November jobs numbers, instead focusing on the low unemployment rate and the annual US economic recovery.
- “Today we got the incredible news that our unemployment rate has dropped to 4.2%,” he said. “And we’re seeing the sharpest one-year drop in unemployment ever.”
- The apparent disparity between the sharp drop in the unemployment rate and the relatively weak job growth may be due to how each of the figures are tabulated.
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Friday highlighted a weak November jobs report, focusing instead on a low unemployment rate and an annual trend of growth and economic recovery.
The Labor Department reported earlier in the day that the US economy created fewer jobs than expected in November, a sign that hiring had slowed even before the new Omicron COVID version was announced.
nonfarm payrolls An increase of just 210,000 for the monthHowever, the unemployment rate fell sharply from 4.6% to 4.2%. The labor force participation rate rose to 61.8% for the month, the highest level since March 2020.
Officially billed as “comment on the November jobs report” in a speech at the White House, Biden omitted job creation data almost entirely.
“Today we got the incredible news that our unemployment rate has dropped to 4.2%,” he said. “And we’re seeing the sharpest one-year drop in unemployment ever.”
The apparent disparity between the sharp drop in the unemployment rate and the relatively weak job growth could come from a number of factors.
Many economists note that the payroll tally used to estimate the number of new jobs is different from the self-reported household survey used to arrive at the overall unemployment rate. The disparity between non-farm payrolls and unemployment trends may partly reflect the differences between the two surveys.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly household survey asks people if they are currently employed. Thousands of Americans started small businesses from home during the pandemic, and those people would consider themselves employed for survey purposes, even if they only have one or two employees.
In contrast, the headline monthly jobs figure is based on payroll reports from about 150,000 large businesses and government agencies. So the survey may fail to capture the thousands of entrepreneurs who have started small businesses in the past two years.
The result is that jobs growth figures suggest a weaker recovery than the unemployment rate.
It wasn’t hard to see why the president chose to focus on the unemployment rate and not the number of jobs he mentioned only once. Biden also said that this year has seen a significant upward revision in starting jobs.
The report released on Friday raised estimates for October and September combined to 82,000.
“Because of the extraordinary progress we’ve made, we can look forward to a brighter, happier new year ahead,” Biden said.
Even as he referred to the progress made in the past year, the President did not shy away from addressing the widespread concern among voters about inflation, supply chain issues and Covid.
Families are worried,” he said. “Worried about Covid, the cost of living and the economy more broadly, they are still uncertain. I want you to know that I hear you. It is not enough to know that we are making progress. You need to see and feel it in your life and around your kitchen table and in your checkbook.”
Stocks fell on a combination of weaker-than-expected job numbers and fears that a strong unemployment rate would convince the Fed to intensify its diluted measures.
Responding to the November report, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNBC that investors should be looking at the bigger picture, not just any particular month. Job growth so far this year has been above 6.1 million. A 2021 average profit of 555,000 per month (not including November) puts the US economy in full recovery from the pandemic – or matches the February 2020 unemployment rate of 3.5% by the end of 2022.
This precedes the prediction of many economists.
Sectors that showed the biggest gains in November included professional and business services (90,000), transportation and warehousing (50,000) and construction (31,000). Even as the holiday shopping season approached, the retail sector saw a drop of 20,000. The government added 10,000 jobs in total.
Workers’ wages rose for the month, up 0.26% in November and 4.8% from a year ago. Both numbers were slightly lower than expected.
“We are moving into strong shape throughout the holiday season,” Biden said.
, CNBC’s Jeffrey Cox /em>