President Joe Biden on Friday hailed stronger-than-expected job creation in January and called the robust reading proof that the U.S. economy is showing strength. Biden said in a statement at the White House: “I’m happy to report that the state of our union, and the state of our economy, is strong.” Biden spoke after the U.S. reported that the number of new jobs created in January rose by 517,000, marking the biggest gain in six months. The unemployment rate slid to a 54-year low of 3.4% from 3.5%, the government reported. That’s the lowest level since 1969. The stronger-than-expected jobs figures come as Biden is preparing to deliver a State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress. on Tuesday night. The address is expected to focus on the debt-limit standoff and recession worries, among other topics. One caveat to the jobs report, meanwhile, is that the government’s formula to adjust for seasonal swings in hiring sometimes exaggerates employment levels in January. It’s unclear whether that was the case last month. Employment grew even faster in the waning months of 2022 than previously reported, indicating the labor market was still quite robust.