Saturday, August 13, 2022

Biden hails strong jobs report as unemployment rate dips to 3.8%

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President Biden praised a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report on Friday, as employers added 678,000 workers in February.

“Our economy has now added 7.4 million jobs since I took office,” Mr. Biden tweeted. “This is what Building a Better America looks like.”
The unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in February, down from 4% the previous month, the Labor Department reported. 

Friday’s hiring figures were collected before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sent oil prices surging and has escalated risks and uncertainties for economies in Europe and the rest of the world.

The gains in hiring underscored the economy’s solid health as the omicron COVID-19 wave fades and more Americans venture out to spend at restaurants, shops and hotels despite surging inflation. New COVID infections in the U.S. have plummeted since late January. 
Consumer spending has risen, spurred by higher wages and savings. Restaurant traffic has regained pre-pandemic levels, hotel reservations are up, and far more Americans are flying than at the height of omicron.

The jobs report couldn’t prevent a negative opening on Wall Street Friday morning, where fears of the economic fallout from the fighting in Ukraine overshadowed the employment gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off slightly at the start of trading, down 139.23 points, or 0.41% at the opening bell.

— This article is based on wire-service reports.

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