U.S. President Joe Biden Friday used the May jobs report to promote his efforts to boost the economy and fight inflation by lowering the cost of goods and the federal deficit.
The latest U.S. Labor Department jobs report for last month showed the U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in the month with the unemployment rate at 3.6%, a near historic low.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, the president said the numbers from May brings the total number of new jobs added in the U.S. economy to 8.7 million since he took office. He said these numbers reflect the significant economic recovery from pandemic-driven recession two years ago, which he said was “the most robust in modern history.”
Biden said the job numbers and other factors reflect an economic foundation that is historically strong, allowing the U.S. to fight inflation from a position of strength. He introduced two additional elements for fighting inflation: lowering costs of “everyday goods,” and lowering the deficit.
The president said higher costs for the two primary goods on the minds of U.S. consumers —gasoline and food — are directly related to “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war in Ukraine.”
“Ukraine has 20 million tons of grain in storage right now, and it’s been in storage since the last harvest,” said Biden. “Normally, that would have already been exported into the world market. But because of Putin’s invasion and a blockade of the port at which they could take that grain out for the rest of the world, it’s not.”
Biden said he has offered proposals to lower inflation that have stalled in Congress, such as clean energy investment proposal that would lower energy costs, as well as plans to lower prescription drug costs, rent and mortgages, and high-speed internet. He called on Congress to move on these and other proposals.
The president said lowering the federal deficit is another effective way to lower inflation. He said, according to the Congressional budget office says the U.S. is on track to lower the federal deficit by $1.7 trillion this year and credited his economic strategies to driving than decline.
Biden was also asked about a recent announcement by Tesla CEO Elon Musk saying he had a “super bad” feeling about the U.S. economy and wants to cut 10% jobs at his electric vehicle company.
The president responded by noting Ford Motor company was adding six thousand new jobs, as are other U.S. car makers, and the computer chip maker Intel was adding 20,000 new jobs. He added, to Musk, “Lots a’ luck on his trip to the moon.”
The president also would not comment on reports that he plans to travel to Saudi Arabia later this month, though he did say he say there is a possibility he would be making a Mideast and meeting with regional leaders that could include representatives from Saudi Arabia.
Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press.