Biden: strong jobs report shows U.S. can tackle inflation

STORY: U.S. employment data out Friday showed robust hiring for the month of May.

Non-farm payrolls increased by 390,000 last month, higher than economists polled by Reuters expected.

Numbers for April were also revised higher.

Friday's numbers also showed the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6 percent, almost at a pre-pandemic low.

"With today's excellent jobs report and unemployment remaining at near-historic lows of 3.6 percent, I want to speak very briefly about our economy, and what we're doing to lower the costs for American families."

U.S. President Joe Biden hopes the robust report will help him convince American voters unsettled by surging inflation that he has a steady hand on the economy. He addressed the latest figures Friday, with the message that he was ready to face down steadily rising prices.

"We've laid a economic foundation that's historically strong. And now we're moving forward to a new moment, where we can build on that foundation, build a future of stable, steady growth, so we can bring down inflation, without sacrificing all the historic gains we've made."

And he cautioned Americans that the strong job growth stemming from the pandemic recovery was likely going to moderate in coming months.

"But that's a good thing. That's the sign of a healthy economy, with steady growth, rising wages for working families, everyday costs easing up, and shrinking the deficit. That stability puts in a strong position to tackle what is clearly a problem, inflation. I've been very clear that fighting inflation is my top economic priority."

The strong job numbers will likely give the Federal Reserve the green light to go ahead with further interest rate hikes aimed at tamping down surging inflation.

The central bank is trying to get consumers to rein in spending, and curtail rising prices that are eroding purchasing power and savings.

The aggressive moves to cool the economy have raised fears of a recession. Most economists, however, believe the current economic expansion will persist through next year.