White House blindsided by worse-than-expected April jobs numbers: Report

President Joe Biden had reportedly been prepared to celebrate a robust jobs report for April in pursuit of his goal of adding 2 million jobs to the economy during his first 100 days in office.

Instead, the administration received a lackluster report that fell well short of predictions, according to Breitbart, leaving the White House scrambling to come up with excuses — and a sufficient spin.

Disappointing figures

As Punchbowl News noted, the White House had been “eagerly awaiting” the April report, watching closely with an expectation that an additional 700,000 jobs would be added to the recovering economy.

If the Biden administration had hit that mark, it would have contributed to the never-before-seen goal of adding 2 million U.S. jobs within a president’s first 100 days.

Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly scheduled press conferences to celebrate the anticipated good news.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had been expected to join White House press secretary Jen Psaki at the daily White House press briefing to similarly tout the anticipated employment boom.

Instead, according to Fox Business, the combined U.S. economy added just about 266,000 new jobs in April. Rather than further suppressing an unemployment rate that had been declining toward pre-pandemic levels, the numbers actually ticked it back up to 6.1%.

Political spin

Predictions ahead of the latest report were that as many as 1 million jobs would be added and the unemployment rate would drop to as low as 5.8%.

Further exacerbating the situation, CNBC reported that March numbers were revised downward. Initial reports from that month that 916,000 jobs had been added to the economy were reduced to just 770,000. At the same time, February’s total was revised upward, but it was not enough to offset the difference in March’s numbers.

Ultimately, Biden’s remarks on the April report came later than initially scheduled. Instead of celebrating the anticipated milestone, he sought to provide some “perspective” on the figures.

Touting that he had overseen the addition of 1.5 million jobs since he took office, he compared the rate of his administration favorably to that of his predecessor’s final three months without mentioning that former President Donald Trump’s term ended amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

The partisan spin continued during the White House press briefing on Friday, with Yellen asserting that “the jobs report is a little bit stronger than the headline numbers might suggest on the hiring front.”

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