UPDATED 7:10 AM PT – Saturday, October 9, 2021
Amid a disappointing jobs report, the White House is blaming the Delta variant and other factors. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki attempted to soften the blow of the dismal September jobs report during a press briefing on Friday. She attempted to defend the poor report, which showed the economy had only added 194,000 jobs, by shifting blame to COVID.
“We’ve also seen that the pandemic, while it’s been incredibly challenging on many many levels, it’s also prompted many people to think what their careers might look like and what careers they may pursue,” stated Psaki at the briefing.
Asked about the September jobs report that "fell well below expectations" and rising inflation and prices, Press Secretary Jen Psaki says, "We certainly don’t see things as darkly as you do…we’re on track." pic.twitter.com/duoMnepiYm
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 8, 2021
The number is far below the 500,000 jobs, which economists expected for the month. Psaki said a range of factors have impacted the weak workforce numbers, asserting without data that many people are still reluctant to enter the job market over fears of COVID.
“In our assessment, one is people are still fearful of COVID and what it will be like in work places and ensuring their own safety. There are still challenges as it relates to childcare, eldercare, the cost of those and being able to afford it, and also the availability which is something we’ve seen a shortage of in many communities,” she said.
When a reporter pressed Psaki on a concrete answer for the low jobs report, she responded by saying Joe Biden was leading during a hard time and then declined to comment any further.
Meanwhile, the RealClearPolitics average has Biden’s job approval underwater and down nearly 10 points in two months.