The U.S. economy added another 559,000 jobs in the month of May, missing the estimated goal of 650,000 jobs by nearly 100k and marking the second month in a row that job gains were significantly lower than expected.
The latest jobs report follows an even more dismal April one, when only 266,000 jobs were added to the economy (that’s now been amended to 278,000, per this latest report).
Even still, President Joe Biden is hailing the latest report as “great news,” despite missing the goal and being slammed by critics as having incentivized people not to go back to work by boosting unemployment benefits by $300 a week with federal cash.
"America is finally on the move again," Biden said in his remarks following the release of the May jobs report.
"This is historic progress — progress that's pulling our economy out of the worst crisis it's been in in 100 years," he continued.
"We're gonna hit some bumps along the way, of course, that will happen. You can't reboot the world's largest economy like flicking on a light switch,” he added.
"This is historic progress — progress that's pulling our economy out of the worst crisis it's been in in 100 years," President Biden says about the latest jobs report. "It's testament to the new strategy that is growing this economy..." https://t.co/BMtOdS9za7 pic.twitter.com/TEIj9fhiwu— CNN (@CNN) June 4, 2021
The administration has continued to deny that extra unemployment money is what’s keeping people from going back to work, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claiming during a press briefing last month that there’s “little evidence” that paying people to stay at home is incentivizing them to…well, stay at home.
But legislators and governors in at least 25 states disagree, having turned down the extra $330-a-week in federal assistance saying it’s keeping workers from reentering the workforce and stifling economic growth as customer demand ramps back up. For those states still funneling the money to their unemployed residents, the program is currently set to expire in September, unless it’s renewed by Congress. In his remarks Friday, Biden says it “makes sense that [the program] expires in 90 days,” suggesting that some unemployed people are “still in the process of trying to get vaccinated.”