The U.S. August jobs report was disappointing ahead of the Labor Day weekend with only 235,000 new positions added. While making remarks on the job market's worst performance of the summer, President Joe Biden reassured Americans that “the Biden plan is working” and the economy is heading toward a strong recovery, citing the Delta variant as a reason for the dismal total.

“While I know some want to see a larger number today, and so did I, what we’ve seen this year is a continued growth, month after month in job creation,” Biden said. “There’s no question the Delta variant is why today’s jobs report isn’t stronger.”

The U.S. is reporting a rise in COVID-19 cases not seen since January and with only 53% of the population fully vaccinated, the number of vulnerable Americans remains extremely high, as those not fully inoculated continue to contribute to the spread of the coronavirus and its highly contagious Delta variant. 

Biden added that “we need to make more progress in fighting the Delta variant” and reinforced his ongoing push to get people vaccinated. 

“This is a continuing pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he said. “Too many have not gotten vaccinated, and it’s creating a lot of unease in our economy and around our kitchen tables.”

Though the low number of jobs added may have caused widespread disappointment, Biden pointed out that the unemployment rate has decreased to 5.2% compared to its rate of 6.3% in January.

If Biden’s infrastructure and budget plans finish passing in Congress, he says it will “create millions of good-paying jobs” that will contribute to the nation’s economic recovery.

“This is about good-paying jobs for ordinary people,” Biden said. “Blue-collar workers, jobs at a prevailing wage, not $15 an hour, but 20 or 30, but for the carpenters and pipefitters, plumbers, electrical workers and so many others.”