What are Biden's economic proposals according to the unemployment report?
The January jobs report was a positive one for President Biden but he reiterated his belief that further investment is needed to build a fairer economy.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January jobs report earlier this month and it made positive reading for President Joe Biden. Despite a massive spike in covid-19 cases across the country the United States added hundreds of thousands of new jobs, suggesting that the jobs market recovery is still on track
The report found that employers added 467,000 new jobs in January, far exceeding experts’ predictions. During previous points of high coronavirus infection businesses had acted by cutting staff or closing premises, but January’s strong numbers suggests that employers are no longer as anxious.
“Clearly something is different about this surge,” said Julia Pollak, an economist from career site ZipRecruiter. “Employers who have been engaged in this dogfight for talent, they’re not standing down… They are sticking around because they think the surge will be over soon.”
How did Biden respond to the news?
The surge of Omicron cases over the holiday period was a real concern for President Biden, who had suffered a significant fall in his approval ratings at the end of 2021 as he failed to pass his much-heralded Build Back Better bill.
Having failed to pass the long-term economic legislation that he had hoped for, a poor jobs report performance would have heaped pressure on. However when he took to the podium on 4 February, the President was able to relate good news and positive trends in the US jobs market.
Biden said: “I’m pleased to report this morning what many of you already know: that America’s job machine is going stronger than ever, fueling a strong recovery and opportunity for hardworking women and men all across this great country.”
He went on to speak about some of the changes that he was determined to make to ensure that the American economy grows back stronger, but also more fairly. He spoke about the dangers posed by a small group of super-powerful companies increasing their control over markets.
“Look, I’m a capitalist,” Biden said. “But capitalism without competition is not capitalism; it’s exploitation. So, I’m going to continue to do everything in my power to work with the Congress to make our capitalist system work better, to provide more competition, and lower prices for American consumers.
Biden pledges action on supply chain chaos
While the American jobs market has battled resourcefully through the Omicron wave some elements of the economy have not fared so well. The supply chain crisis continues to disrupt and delay crucial industries and have left manufacturers unable to reliably source materials.
Biden addressed this issue during the speech, noting that the price of cars has risen due to global semiconductor shortages. However a new chip manufacturing plant has recently been announced in Ohio, which will not only aid the shortages of chips for cars but also add more jobs.
"These semiconductors and microchips power virtually everything in our everyday lives. From our cell phones to automobiles, the refrigerators, the internet, the electric grid. Without semiconductors, these things do not function in a modern economy," Biden said.
He spoke of a new bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives, which will provide more than $90 billion to support “research and development, manufacturing, and all those elements of the supply chain needed to produce end products right here in America.”
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