WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden blamed the media for Americans’ continued anxiety about the economy as he struggles to convince the public that the economy is improving despite a robust jobs market.
Biden touted “good news today” following the Labor Department’s Friday announcement that a booming 336,000 jobs were added in September, the strongest monthly gain since January and eclipsing forecasts of 170,000 jobs added last month. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8%.
“We have the highest share of working-age Americans in the workforce in 20 years,” Biden said in remarks from the White House’s Roosevelt Room. “And it’s no accident. It’s Bidenomics.”
Yet polling shows Americans remain concerned about the economy primarily due to stubborn inflation, which although down significantly from a year ago, remains above pre-pandemic levels.
Nearly 70% of Americans said the economy is getting worse, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll last month, while only 22% said the economy is improving. Eighty-four percent of Americans said their cost of living is rising, and nearly half of Americans, 49%, blamed food and grocery prices as the main driver.
Biden, asked by a reporter why many Americans still don’t feel good about the economy despite progress on jobs, pointed to negative media coverage.
“You all are not the happiest people in the world – what you report,” Biden said. “And I mean it sincerely. You get more legs when you’re reporting something that’s negative. I don’t mean you’re picking me. It’s just the nature of things.”
He added: “You turn on the television, and there’s not a whole lot about boy saves dog because he swims in the lake. You know, it’s about somebody pushed the dog in the lake. I mean, I get it.”
In addition to the robust September jobs numbers, job gains for July and August were revised up by a combined 119,000, pushing the advances for each month over 200,000 and painting a more robust picture of summer hiring than previously thought.
It’s a sign that a recession once predicted might not materialize.
“I think the 300,000-plus people who got jobs feel better about the economy,” Biden said. “The American people are smart as hell and know what their interests are. I think they know they’re better off financially than they were before. It’s a fact.”
Reach Joey Garrison on X, formerly known as Twitter, @joeygarrison.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: President Biden blames media for Americans’ concerns about the economy