President Biden said the latest job report showed employment gains were running too slowly and that his COVID-19 rescue plan was essential to restoring the economy.

Employers added 379,000 jobs in February as the economy continued to strengthen after the impact of the pandemic last year, the Labor Department said on Friday.

But speaking ahead of an economic briefing by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Biden said: "Without a rescue plan, these gains are going too slow. We can't afford one step forward, two steps backward."

Speaking in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, he added that the country still had 9.5 million fewer jobs than this time last year.

ECONOMY BEAT EXPECTATIONS WITH 379,000 JOBS IN FEBRUARY

"At that rate, it would take two years to get us back on track," Biden said.

Meanwhile, senators were in the middle of a so-called vote-a-rama as they considered a mountain of amendments to Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus spending plan.

Most are destined to be rejected, including one that would increase the hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

Some economists have warned that the size of the package risks creating higher inflation.

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"We will always be rooting for more job growth for more Americans across the board," National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told CNBC. "We think that if we pass this rescue plan right now, we could be poised for really strengthening the economy and getting to full employment significantly faster than most forecasters estimate without this plan."

Original Location: Biden says job growth is too slow as he pushes COVID spending bill

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