The September jobs number was a big miss, but Biden sees 'great progress' in rising wages, lower unemployment rate

U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks about the economy and Labor Department's September Jobs Report in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at The White House, Washington, U.S.A, October 8, 2021.
WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden stated that the September jobs report shows "great progress" in restoring the U.S. economic health after the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the overall number of jobs came in lower than expected.

Biden stated Friday that the American unemployment rate was below 5% for the first time since March 2020. He made these remarks after the Labor Department released monthly job numbers earlier in the morning.

September's unemployment rate was 4.8%. This is lower than the 5.1% expected.

The president dismissed what was for markets, arguably, the most important takeaway from September's report: that nonfarm payrolls rose only 194,000 compared to the Dow Jones estimate at 500,000.

Biden stated that "the monthly totals bounce around," but that "if you look at the trend it's solid."

The sharp rise in wages was also highlighted by the president. "Working Americans are also seeing their wages rise. Biden stated that September saw the greatest increase in average wages paid to Americans since records began.

As companies employ wage increases to address the labor shortage, the monthly wage increase of 0.6% drove the year-over-2018 rise to 4.6%

Biden also praised the recent decline in long-term unemployed. This was partly due to the post-pandemic returns of workers in hard-hit industries like hospitality and leisure.

"In the last three months, we have seen a drop in long-term unemployment of 1.3million." He said that this is the largest three-month drop in long-term unemployed since 1948, when we began keeping records. "More work to be done, but great progress."

Biden faces the most difficult stretch of his presidency thus far, and this jobs report is a welcome development. While he is trying to push Congress an ambitious economic agenda through, his approval ratings have dropped sharply on issues that range from foreign policy to immigration to economy.

Quinnipiac University's poll this week showed that only 39% of respondents approve of Biden’s economic management, while 55% disapprove.

This is essentially a flip of May's Gallup poll, which found 57% confidence in Biden’s economic management.