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Capitol Report: ‘We’ve got work to do,’ Biden says after big April jobs report miss

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President Joe Biden on Friday said there’s still much to be done to get Americans back to work, as the U.S. gained far fewer jobs than expected in April.

“We’re still digging out of an economic collapse that cost us 22 million jobs,” said Biden, speaking from the East Room of the White House. “We’ve got work to do.”

The government said Friday morning that the U.S. created just 266,000 new jobs in April even as the economy gained strength, suggesting companies might be struggling to fill open jobs even with millions of people still unemployed. The official unemployment rate climbed a tick to 6.1% from 6%.

Read: U.S. gains disappointing 266,000 jobs in April, but all signs still point to faster hiring in months ahead

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.60%

turned higher Friday, after opening in negative territory, and the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.73%

rose, even as the April jobs report came in far below estimates.

Also read: Why the stock market keeps climbing after a surprisingly weak jobs report

The weakness reflected in the jobs data may support some views that central bankers in the U.S. will keep monetary policy accommodative for an extended period, as MarketWatch reports.

Now see: Market Snapshot

Also read: U.S. economy was easier to put into a pandemic coma than to awaken from it — experts react to weak April jobs report

Biden has proposed a $2.3 trillion infrastructure package as well as a $1.8 trillion “American Families Plan,” focused on child care, paid leave and education. If approved by Congress, those proposals would come on top of a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill signed by Biden in March.

Biden on Friday said that the relief measure he signed in March, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, was designed to help the economy over a year. He stressed his infrastructure package and other proposals and said his “laser focus” would be to keep job creation going.

The president rejected criticism that supplemental unemployment insurance is a disincentive to work, saying there was “nothing measurable” in that argument. Meanwhile, as MarketWatch reports, the Republican governors of South Carolina and Montana trace labor shortages employers are facing in their states to federal unemployment benefits and are eliminating them.

Read more: Montana offers $1,200 to get people back to work — but are extra unemployment benefits really keeping Americans out of the labor force?

Congressional Republicans have balked at the price tags of the new proposals as well as the tax increases on corporations and wealthy Americans Biden has floated to pay for them. On infrastructure, GOP lawmakers have said they’d back a smaller package.

Now read: Senate Republicans’ opening infrastructure bid: $568 billion

Biden has frequently said he is open to negotiations with Republicans on his plans, as well on his proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%. On Thursday he suggested he could accept a 25% rate.

Democrats in Congress face a variety of choices about how to proceed on Biden’s plans. They could again use a process called budget reconciliation, allowing them to pass a bill without any Republican votes in the Senate. They could also split Biden’s proposals into separate bills, or aim to pass a single package.

Also see: McConnell predicts ‘zero’ Republican support for Biden jobs and families plan

The Wall Street Journal: Kauai real estate is so hot right now, buyers are snapping up homes sight unseen

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