U.S. hiring slowed in August, according to the monthly jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs last month, falling below most forecaster's projections.
The August report represents a sharp drop-off from June and July when the U.S. added close to a million jobs each month.
The falloff comes as the U.S. is gripped in a fourth wave of COVID-19 as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.
"There is no doubt that the delta variant is the reason that today's job report wasn't stronger," President Joe Biden said during remarks at the White House Friday.
According to an Associated Press analysis, the sectors of the economy that faced the highest drop-off in hiring were those that required face-to-face contact with customers. That included restaurants, bars and hotels, which saw net-zero job growth in August.
Health care, government and construction employers all reported job cuts last month.
Hiring continues to remain strong in the manufacturing and shipping industries.
In an address Friday morning, Biden admitted that the U.S. is "not where we need to be in our economic recovery." However, he argued that the August jobs report, while disappointing, showed that his administration's economic plan is working.
"What we're seeing is an economic recovery that is durable and strong," Biden said, noting that the U.S. had not seen any month-over-month job losses since he took office.
Biden also argued that wages were on the rise and child poverty had fallen since he's been in the White House.
Biden called on more Americans to seek out vaccinations as a way to slow the spread of the delta variant and help the economy continue to grow.
"We need to make further progress in fighting the delta variant and COVID-19," Biden said.
He also called on Congress to "finish the job" and pass administration-proposed infrastructure and budget packages, which he says will create jobs and further implement his plans.