President Biden defends economic recovery, says it’s a marathon, not a sprint

A White House economic adviser says the disappointing jobs numbers are not a result of extra unemployment benefits.
6:41 | 05/07/21

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Transcript for President Biden defends economic recovery, says it’s a marathon, not a sprint
We're joined by White House economic advisor Heather Boucher Heather thanks for joining us my pleasure. First Lewis is look at these numbers is hard to put its positive spin on them unemployment rose for the first time since April 20/20 during the onslaught of the pandemic. How are you at toward us we act of Reading these numbers while what do they mean to you is this recovery in trouble do think. Well here's a thing you know if you look over the past three months we've added over 500000. Jobs each month for the past months on average. And that's much better than the prior two months we only added about 60000 jobs a month. So I would say they yelled this is it's it's good to this so many folks got a job this month. And it's fun trend to you know we never like to me to begin the deal and any one month's data we need to look at the longer term trend in where the economy is headed. And with the pandemic and the uncertainty. And they you know and as were starting to reopen we know that things are going to be a little bit volatile and I think that's what you see this month's. That I like that not the jobs numbers that rob was the forecasters and and so I would expect given that. Unique situation here nobody alive. You know rumors the last time a pandemic up ended the markets but what we are here one of the analyses that are coming out from Republicans but others as well it is that. Unemployment benefits are so generous people aren't going back to the workforce now we heard president Biden today issued down that idea that these enhanced unemployment benefits. Had had a chilling effect. I'm compelling workers to return to work let's listen to it. Data shows that more war or. More workers are looking for jobs. And many kids find. While jobs are coming back they're still needs of people out there looking for work. Any idea who they don't want to work mostly class working class people I now think when my dad. He's just saying no repeat myself but I couldn't continue to be given these critical. A job salon where the paycheck. It sure is no but we do know that employers. In some industries were hearing this restaurant hospitality for example have reported having trouble filling open positions. And the governor of South Carolina today said that that state is no longer gonna participate in federal unemployment programs. Road that had been started the pandemic because of what he called unprecedented labor shortages. Governor of Montana did the same thing chamber of commerce calling for an end. To those added weekly benefits 300 bucks there were part of the president's release plant cell. Are you guys get there are labor shortages out there do you think it's a result of people not coming back to work because of the extra unemployment benefits. Listen you know we saw last month that the an uptick in labor supply and there was a small uptick wasn't statistically significant that you do see people coming back into the labor force there are a lot of other indicators. Deep in the data that show that you know they're there are there are folks willing to working you're seeing more. People. Being less afraid about coded in saying that's not really stopping me from getting in the labor force right now. But you know we know that it was only delete in April around April 19 it all of the vaccines became open to everyone. And so we know that this is that the process of getting the shots and arms getting the vaccine under control. Getting everything up and going was gonna take some time so I think that as the vaccine gets out there as people become more comfortable. We're gonna see labor supply continue to increase as we see jobs come back. That we know that that this the money and the resources that went out to the American rescue package that passed earlier this year. This is really helping businesses in communities in the deal with the pandemic and get things back up and running. So I think what we see this month it is we see stuck a strong job growth you know again. It's on a good trajectory over the past few months and we certainly need wanna continue to see job gains month after month and we want to sit ups pull people into the labor force. But we need to make sure that people are safe and that's what the administration is prioritized raping our hands around the pandemic first so that we can get everyone back to work. But Heather as an economist what do you say to business leaders women and men were looking to hire people and they are telling us it's because people are staying home. Because they've got these benefits and that's efficient for them. Well here's a thing you've got nine point eight million folks out there who are unemployed who say that they are actively searching for a job. So this is not a great labor market from the perspective of workers. While indeed certainly is businesses get up and running they need to bring those workers back on board. You know. Ask me at my my instinct is as as we keep moving forward we're gonna see that that the mismatched that we might have right now between supply and demand. Start familiar rate. But we've always known that this is going to be a volatile recoveries are always volatile but I think we see the benefits. You know. Communities and people having the income support they need that is fueling this demand that is then helping us get back up to speed. So I predicted as we said the vaccine become more distributed we're gonna see a stronger labor market. Ted then let's talk about women's participation in the work force that's a hard story in this hard time. Many schools and day care still not back to normal operations. We know that's an obstacle for many women to return organs women bear the burden. Between the genders of raising and taking care of those children so. Should the Biden administration that that's not fair by the way is my wife into the first just say but should abide administration have done more. To get those schools reopen is the president to close to teachers' unions. Who have in many places resisted that. Well listen we made remarkable progress in getting schools reopened and you know funds are starting to go out to the states in order to support. Child care centers. Being able to stay open in make sure that they can meet the needs of their communities. Think this is certainly job wind right if you don't have access to care folks can get to work in that is why these were prioritized as part of the American rescue plan. Kill kids it was a huge shock to our economy and the pandemic kid in everyone had to aid and him that these to these businesses had to shut down for the health of assault. We're trying to get things up and running again that we know that accesses. Schools and child care is fundamentally important to getting the economy back on track to allow. Kids parents and caregivers to have fully participate in the economy. That's great sort of get the kids back to school and out of the economy as well. As the kids so White House economic advisor Heather Heather Boucher thanks very much for that. Think you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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