As White House officials prepare for the final jobs report before the midterm elections are set for Friday morning, the last thing they want to see is the unemployment rate.
It’s the latest political shock over the economy before Election Day — which comes at a time when Democrats are trying to stabilize the economy.
The US economy added 261,000 jobs in October – more than the 200,000 economists had predicted but still well above the range White House officials expected to see on Friday, which was about 150,000-300,000.
It was the result of “Goldilocks” in the White House – a number that is not too low, but not too high.
Biden announced Friday’s jobs report, saying the new data “shows that our recovery remains strong.” He has rejected criticism from Republicans that the economy is in recession as he continues to receive low ratings from voters on his handling of inflation.
“One thing is clear: Despite the comments of the Republican administration that seem to be causing a recession, the US economy continues to grow and add jobs even as gas prices continue to fall,” Biden said in a statement, citing inflation. it remains “our biggest financial problem.”
It’s a far cry from a year ago, when the US economy was adding jobs every month in a rosy picture: More than 650,000 jobs in October and November, nearly 600,000 in December, followed two months later by 714,000 new jobs. in February.
President Joe Biden and his economic team have known for months that cooling the economy is necessary to end inflation that has given Republicans a huge advantage on what voters say is the most important issue.
Biden and his top advisers have been at pains since the summer to emphasize their rationale for transitioning from getting big jobs to an economic picture defined by “sustainable and sustainable” growth.
It is a message that aims to reduce expectations after one year which is defined by the urgency of the work, and a goal that the authorities see as necessary to protect the information they always get.
Inside it is Biden’s best economic performance: a successful recovery of the economic activity caused by the pandemic that he entered on his first day in office. More than 10 million jobs have been added since Biden’s inauguration and the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.7% on Friday.
The combination of continued employment and a return to quarterly growth is central to Mr. Biden’s contention that, despite the country’s recovery, the US economy is not in danger or in recession.
“Our economy is very strong,” Biden told reporters last month.
A tight labor market, however, has fueled inflation that has threatened Democrats’ majorities in the House and Senate. This, in turn, has led the Federal Reserve to initiate four jumbo rate hikes in a row, including the most recent three-quarter rate hike this week.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, in his press conference after the announcement of the policy, pointed to the labor market that “is just strong, very strong” as the main reason why the increase in inflation has not caused high prices.
“So it may take some time. It may require some determination. It may take some patience. It could bring down inflation,” Powell said of the impact of the Fed’s actions. “I think you can see from our forecasts and others that it will take time for inflation to fall.”
Biden has made it clear – and privately to his team – that the Fed is an independent institution and cannot face political pressure from his administration to deliberately depress the US economy.
But White House officials are also well aware that the stated goal of a “soft landing” in which the central bank can tighten the economy enough to reduce inflation, but not enough to cause the economy to crash, is difficult. needle to thread.
He sees the show as a possible outcome, however.
“I believe there is a way to accomplish this and still have a healthy labor market,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNN in an interview. “And I believe we are on that path.”
But this method includes the government authorities to find moderate jobs, or clear signs of “stable and stable environment” that would make more room for the difficult work of the Fed.