America — and, most notably, Black America — is back to work, President Joe Biden said Friday as he announced one of the most robust job reports in modern times.
“History has been made here,” the president declared.
The economy created 467,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate for Black workers fell to 6.9% and dropped to 5.8% for African American women.
The president highlighted the 6.6 million jobs added to the U.S. economy in the year since he took office.
“It comes alongside the largest drop in the unemployment rate in a single year on record, the largest reduction in childhood poverty ever recorded in a single year, and the strongest economic growth this country has seen in nearly 40 years,” Biden said.
He also acknowledged the struggles that many American families still face, noting that prices have increased sharply during the pandemic.
“Average people are getting clobbered by the cost of everything,” Biden said. “Gas prices at the pump are up. We’re working to bring them down, but they’re up. Food prices are up. We’re working to bring them down as well.”
White House officials said they plan to enact policies to slow inflation.
Before the president’s remarks, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 222-210 to pass the COMPETES Act, a bill to help America keep up with China in the semiconductor chip industry.
The legislation seeks to tackle such economic issues as supply chain disruptions and a global shortage of semiconductor chips, essential for producing smartphones, medical equipment, and cars.
The bill would introduce several changes to American trade rules to level the playing field for domestic businesses and combat China’s market-distorting trade practices.
“Democrats are prepared to build on this extraordinary economic momentum: continuing our work to lower families’ costs, strengthen our supply chains, and make more goods in America,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“Under the leadership of President Biden and House Democrats, our nation will continue to Build Back Better to create more good-paying jobs and lower costs for families across America,” Pelosi said.