By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Joe Biden addressed a convention of labor union members and organizers Tuesday morning in Philadelphia. The president told the crowd in Center City they continue to be the backbone of the country, adding more support is needed to sustain the middle class.

President Biden addressed the economy, those record-high gas prices and more.

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The president was welcomed with a standing ovation at the 29th AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention in Center City Tuesday.

“It’s good to be home,” he said.

The convention brings together 57 unions from around the country, representing 12.5 million workers to plan the future of the movement.

“Wall Street didn’t build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class,” Biden said.

Speaking for more than a half-hour, Biden addressed the economy.

“Since I’ve become president we’ve created 8.7 million new jobs in 16 months, an all-time record,” he said.

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Convention-goers enjoyed Biden’s speech.

“All the things we wanted to hear because he stands behind all the union workers anyway,” said Kerri Ross, who was visiting from Virginia.

But the president also admitted gas prices are too high.

“Just since [Russia] invaded Ukraine, it’s gone up $1.74 a gallon because of nothing else but that,” Biden said.

Biden says he’s working to “blunt Putin’s gas price hike.” But he didn’t say how.

“It cost me a whole heck of a lot more to travel here by plane than it did even a year ago. So really hoping we can see some relief in the future,” said Lori Augino, who was visiting from Washington.

“Everyone has to get in on that because we’re all suffering,” said Vicky Jackson from Atlanta.

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The AFL-CIO convention is expected to wrap up on Wednesday.