That same dynamic hurt Mr. Clinton politically in 1994, Mr. Carville recalled.
“Although the economy was doing better, if we said it, the blowback was: ‘The guy is out of touch,’” he said. “That’s the most difficult and vexing problem that any incumbent has.”
The White House has also been anxious over a worker shortage as Mr. Biden focuses on the implementation of his infrastructure, economic and climate legislation this year to galvanize voters. The labor market has remained tight; data released this week showed that the number of posted jobs per available unemployed worker rose again in December.
But Mr. Biden and his team appear to have decided that it is not a time to hold back.
The United States added 517,000 jobs in January alone, the Labor Department said on Friday, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent, the lowest rate of joblessness since before the first moon landing in the summer of 1969.
The 12 million jobs added since Mr. Biden took office amount to “the strongest two years of job growth in history — by a long shot,” Mr. Biden crowed in remarks at the White House, adding that the new jobs report proves that a “chorus of critics” were just plain wrong about his approach to the economy.
Those critics often note that the dramatic job growth during Mr. Biden’s term is the result of needed rebuilding after the loss of about 10 million jobs in the country because of pandemic-related shutdowns.
Just moments after Friday’s jobs report came out, members of Mr. Biden’s team took to social media. Shalanda Young, the president’s budget director, noted the unemployment rate, saying “@POTUS’s economic plan is delivering.” Ian Sams, the spokesman for the White House Counsel’s Office, criticized Republicans for “political stunt” investigations.
“House Rs could instead join @POTUS to focus on issues affecting people’s lives like jobs & work together on this historic progress,” he wrote alongside a chart showing the decline in the unemployment rate since Mr. Biden took office.