President Biden on Friday cheered the final jobs report of 2022, calling it good news for the economy and a sign that the U.S. is “moving in the right direction” to bring down inflation.
The December report showed U.S. employment growth slowing due to higher interest rates and stubborn inflation, but not enough to derail the historically strong labor market.
“This moderation in job growth is appropriate, and we should expect it to continue in the months ahead, even as we maintain resilience in our labor market recovery,” Biden said in a statement.
The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in December and brought the unemployment rate down to 3.5 percent, the same level in February 2020, from 3.7 percent in November, according to the Labor Department. The employment gain still came in above economists’ expectations and without other warning signs of an overheating economy.
“Today’s report is great news for our economy and more evidence that my economic plan is working,” the president said.
He added that while there is still work to do to bring down inflation, “we are moving in the right direction.”
Wage growth continued to slow in December, according to the report, as earnings rose 0.3 percent on the month and 4.6 percent over the past 12 months.
Biden said that the report points to signs that Americans are getting more breathing room.
“These historic jobs and unemployment gains are giving workers more power and American families more breathing room. Real wages are up in recent months, gas prices are down, and we are seeing welcome signs that inflation is coming down as well. It’s a good time to be a worker in America,” he said.