President Donald Trump is touting the “spectacular” addition of 4.8 million new jobs in June and a drop in the unemployment rate to 11% as the economy continued to recover from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is not just luck, what is happening,” Trump told reporters Thursday morning in the White House briefing room. “This is a lot of talent.”
Celebrating the latest jobs report just before the Fourth of July weekend, the president added:
All of this incredible news is a result of historic actions my administration has taken with our partners in Congress to rescue the U.S. economy from a horrible event that was formed, [that] took place, in China, [and] came here. And they could have stopped it. They could have stopped it. Nobody likes to write that. They could have stopped it. They know it, and I know it.
Trump called the government’s June numbers for employment the “largest monthly jobs gain in the history of our country.”
With massive job losses February through April as elected officials shut down much of the economy, the unemployment rate appeared to be edging close to 20%. But the economy added 2.7 million jobs in May (revised from the government’s original report of 2.5 million).
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The unemployment rate in February—before the COVID-19 lockdown—was 3.5%. It rose to 4.4% in March, then skyrocketed to 14.7% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The president’s prediction of a “V-shaped” economic recovery could be happening. However, new COVID-19 cases are surging throughout the Sun Belt states of California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona.
“We have some areas where we are putting out the flames of the fires, and that is working out well,” Trump said.
He later added of the pandemic: “We are otherwise getting it under control. Areas that were hard hit are doing very well. Some were doing very well and we thought [COVID-19 cases] may be gone and they flared up, and we are putting out the fires.”
Hailing “historic gains,” Trump said some sectors of the economy hardest hit by the pandemic had the strongest comeback, and read some of the numbers from the lectern.
In June, 2.1 million jobs came back to the leisure and hospitality industry, and 740,000 jobs to the retail industry.
Other gains included 568,000 education and health care jobs; 357,000 service jobs; and 356,000 manufacturing jobs.
“Manufacturing looks like it is ready to really take off at a level that it has never been before,” Trump said. “A lot of that has to do with our trade policy, because we are bringing manufacturing back to our country.”
With regard to the nation’s demographics, Trump said that, “really happily for me,” African Americans again made historic gains with 404,000 jobs added last month.
“If you add the two months together, it’s 700,000 jobs for African American workers added in the last two months. That’s a record by a lot,” Trump said of May and June.
Hispanic employment is up by 1.5 million jobs, and 3 million more women were employed in June.
“Workers with a high school education or less made the biggest strides of all,” the president said.
Trump didn’t take any questions himself, leaving the lectern to economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.