(Bloomberg) -- When President Joe Biden needed it most, a key report landed that boosts his economic message just a month before November’s crucial midterm elections. 

Biden seized on strong jobs numbers Friday as an “encouraging sign,” arguing his economic policies are working to keep the labor market resilient. At an event to tout domestic manufacturing, Biden used the numbers to hammer Republicans, whose agenda he said would roll back those gains.

But the jobs report could also spell pain ahead. Markets fell across the board Friday anticipating that the strength of the labor market as interest rates rise means the Federal Reserve is more likely to continue hiking. That increases the odds of the economy slipping into a recession just as the Democrats head into the next presidential election.

Fed policymakers have been trying to curb soaring inflation, including gas, food and rent prices. Fresh data out next week on consumer prices will play a fundamental role in the central bank’s decision making.

Still, with his party fighting to retain control of the House and Senate and less than five weeks until voters head to the polls, Biden has sought to use any positive news to bolster his case that the economy is on a stronger footing since the pandemic.

“Today’s jobs numbers are an encouraging sign that we are transitioning to stable, steady growth. And more Americans are working than ever before,” Biden said Friday. “There’s more to do to grow our economy from the bottom up and middle out, but we’re making progress.”

Friday’s jobs report showed nonfarm payrolls increased 263,000 in September, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 3.5%, matching a five-decade low. 

Read More: US Jobs Rise While Unemployment Drops, Keeping Pressure on Fed

Biden talked up the job gains at an event at a Volvo Group facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, where he said midterm voters had a stark choice to make on the economy. Biden said congressional Republicans would enact policies that favored the wealthy, which he said contrasted with his vision.

“There’s different ways of looking at our country. One is the view from Park Avenue, which says help the very wealthy and maybe it’ll trickle down to everyone else,” said Biden.

“The other view is from Scranton, Pennsylvania,” he continued. “The belief that the backbone of America, the people who get up every single morning and go to work and break their necks making a living, the working-class and the middle-class, that’s who built this country.”

It was Biden’s second event in as many days where he’s touted policies he says will bring more manufacturing jobs to the US. On Thursday, Biden spoke at IBM Corp.’s campus in Poughkeepsie, New York, where the company is investing $20 billion. And last month, Biden took his message to a groundbreaking for an Intel Corp. semiconductor plant in midterm battleground Ohio, where the Senate race is a potential pickup opportunity for Democrats. 

High inflation, though, is a persistent political liability for Biden, lowering his approval ratings and complicating his economic message to voters.

A White House event in September to celebrate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act -- Democrats’ massive climate, tax and health-care package -- was overshadowed by a worse-than-expected inflation report, which showed that core inflation, a measure closely watched by the Fed, had risen by 0.6% in August, double the forecast.

Read more: Biden Plan to Talk Up Economy Slams Into Inflation Reality (1)

Biden has said his policies are working and that more time is needed to reduce inflation, but Republicans have focused on the still-high cost of groceries, housing and other day-to-day items ahead of the midterms.

“Joe Biden and Democrats’ economic agenda is a train wreck -- but what can you expect from a party who raises taxes during a recession? Whether it is higher prices, lower wages, or higher taxes, Democrats’ reckless spending and failed policies put hardworking Americans last,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement after Friday’s jobs numbers were released.

Friday’s numbers are the last jobs report the Fed will see before the November policy meeting where it will consider a fourth-straight 75-basis point hike. The Fed has been hoping to see a softening of the labor market, with the goal of slowing wage growth and lowering inflation.

Biden has pleaded with voters for more time to lower inflation, saying his policies are making an impact.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re building a different economy than before,” he said Friday.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.