"We're going to anticipate the omicron variant could have some impacts on next month's report," Walsh said on "Varney & Co." Friday. "There's no question about it."
The Labor Department said in its monthly payroll report released Friday that payrolls in December rose by 199,000, sharply missing the 400,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists. The unemployment rate, which is calculated based on a separate survey, dropped to 3.9% from 4.2% — the lowest level since the pandemic began.
The last time the payroll survey had a one-month change of less than 199,000 was in December 2020 when there was a decline of 306,000 jobs.
"The pundits or the experts always prepare a bigger number. And when I look at the report, it's a solid report," Walsh told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney.
The figures suggest that despite high demand for workers, businesses are still struggling to attract new employees as factors like a lack of childcare, virus fears and large stimulus savings persevere. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.9% as the labor shortage persists, despite the lower-than-expected unemployment drop.
"We're living in very unprecedented times, quite honestly in our country," Walsh said. "There's a lot of work that we still have to do, and we need to continue to move forward collectively together."
"The president has been focused on inflation as well, working on supply chain issues and making sure that we get products on the shelves, and also asking companies not to pass those prices on to consumers," he said. "We're doing everything we can to speed up and get more goods and products in stores in America right now as we talk."
FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.