Biden says weak jobs report underscores need for his economic policies

President Joe Biden on Friday predicted a "long way to go" for U.S. economic recovery from a pandemic-spurred slump and urged Washington to do more to help the American people after a disappointing jobs report.

U.S. job growth unexpectedly slowed in April, likely restrained by shortages of workers and raw materials.

Biden and his team have said his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, the Democratic president’s first major legislative accomplishment, is helping to bring the economy back from its pandemic plummet.

"Today’s report just underscores in my view how vital the actions we’re taking are," Biden said in remarks at the White House. "Our efforts are starting to work. But the climb is steep and we still have a long way to go."

The White House is pressing for trillions of dollars more in spending on infrastructure, education and other priorities. Republicans, however, object to the high price tag of Biden’s initiatives and critics have raised concerns about inflation and a disincentive, thanks to generous unemployment benefits, for people to return to the workforce.

The White House dismissed that criticism on Friday. Biden said he had not seen evidence that enhanced unemployment benefits were putting a drag on employment figures.

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