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Biden skips victory lap after strong July jobs report, warns of economic peril from rising Covid cases

US President Joe Biden speaks about the July jobs reports in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 6, 2021.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden resisted the temptation to take a victory lap Friday following the release of strong July jobs numbers, instead telling the country that rising Covid cases pose an urgent threat to the economic recovery.

“My message today is not one of celebration,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “It is one to remind us that we have a lot of hard work left to be done, both to beat the delta variant and to continue the advance of our economic recovery.”

The highly contagious delta strain of Covid currently accounts for at least 80% of new infections nationwide.

Still, hiring rose last month at its fastest pace in nearly a year, despite fears over the delta variant and as companies struggled with a tight labor supply.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 943,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The payroll increase was the best since August 2020.

The number of new jobs beat economists’ expectations by nearly 100,000, and the unemployment rate fell three tenths of a percent lower than experts had predicted it would.

In touting the strength and resilience of the economic recover