During a White House press briefing on Friday, President Biden's Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked if the administration would cite the recent job numbers as evidence that the country is not in a recession.
"I'll say this, the strong labor market is what we're looking at, right?" Karine rhetorically asked. "That tells us, because of the strong labor market, and that being one of the many economic indicators, shows us that we are not in a recession, that we are in a transition, and that is very important to note," she finished.
According to CNN, the August 5 jobs report showed that the US economy added 528,000 jobs in July which means the country has "regained all jobs lost during the pandemic."
The unemployment rate during Donald Trump's presidency was at a historic low of 3.5 percent according to CNBC. In 2019, the county entered the Covid pandemic with both low unemployment and a booming economy. The constriction on the country's industry and commerce along with various lockdowns and mandates caused the shedding of jobs that were predicted to return as soon as the country reopened.
In May 2021, Biden was faced with a slower return to employment as expected, set against the backdrop of the country having paid most citizens to stay home through acts such as the American Rescue Plan and various Covid stimulus payments.
Jean-Pierre's denial of the country being in a recession relies on the administration's recent redefinition of the term in late July.
Biden changed the standard definition of the word recession, from a decline evidenced by the fall in GDP over two consecutive quarters to a more malleable one that relies on unemployment numbers. While the country faces a recession it also is still met with historic inflation and a supply chain crisis.
Jean-Pierre's comment about the country being in a "transition" refers to the administration saying the country's woes are a result of transitioning from the pandemic economy to a healthier one. The phrase was used prominently by National Economic Council Director Brian Deese in May, which Politico reported.