President Biden on Friday called on Republicans in Congress to help with inflation-fighting efforts, following the April jobs report that showed job growth holding up.
“There is more work to do. I encourage Congressional Republicans to join us in our efforts to lower prices for families across the country, doing more in America, strengthening our supply chains, and lowering energy and utility costs. prescription drugs,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden said tackling inflation was a top priority for him and called it a challenge for families across the United States, but said the United States was in a “position of strength.”
“The continued strength of our labor market and the savings that families have accumulated over the past year mean that our economy faces the challenges of COVID-19, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and global inflation from a position of strength,” he said.
The US economy added 428,000 jobs. and the jobless rate held even at 3.6%, according to Labor Department data released on Friday, which was better than the roughly 300,000 additional jobs expected by economists. The unemployment rate remained just 0.1 percentage point above its February 2020 level.
The report came after the Federal Reserve announced a half-point rate hike as part of its efforts to rein in rising inflation. Further rate hikes are expected.
Biden has been beaten in inflation polls despite a boiling labor market as voters are unhappy with rising prices for gas, groceries and household items. Inflation is seen as a major headwind for Biden’s party in this fall’s midterm elections.
Biden touted job creation in April and falling unemployment since taking office.
“Our plans and policies have produced the strongest job-creating economy of modern times,” he said.
He said there had only been three months in the past 50 years when the unemployment rate was lower than it is now, attributing this to a “direct result” of the US bailout, the vaccination program against COVID-19 and its economic program.