By Madeline Sponsler, FISM News
President Donald Trump on Friday celebrated a stunning U.S. employment report that showed more than 2.5 million jobs were added last month during the thick of the coronavirus pandemic and predicted the battered economy will recover all of its lost jobs by next year.
“Today is probably, if you think of it, the greatest comeback in American history,” Trump said at the White House.
“We’re going to be stronger than we were when we were riding high,” he added.
Trump, who had counted on a strong economy to bolster his chances of re-election in November, said the recovery could be hampered by higher taxes and implementation of a Green New Deal climate change plan if Democrats win the White House.
He spoke after the Labor Department released its jobs report for May, which showed the jobless rate dropped to 13.3% from 14.7% in April, a surprise after economists predicted it would rise to close to 20%. Nonfarm payrolls rose by just over 2.5 million jobs after a record plunge of slightly under 20.7 million in April.
However, many economists warn it could take years for the U.S. economy to regain all of those lost jobs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted in May that there will still be 10 million fewer people employed at the end of 2021 than there were at the beginning of this year.
Trump said the U.S. economic recovery will accelerate as states hard hit by the pandemic, including New York and New Jersey, allow business to resume. He said states like California that still have restrictions in place should follow the example of Florida and other states that have lifted them.
The U.S. Congress has signed off on trillions of dollars in aid to lessen the economic blow from the pandemic, but Republicans and Democrats are at odds over whether additional stimulus is needed.
Democrats welcomed the upbeat jobs numbers but said Washington needed to do more to head off public-sector layoffs. “Now is not the time to be complacent or take a victory lap,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Trump said he would support further relief and Vice President Mike Pence, in an interview with CNBC, said that could include aid to states that have warned they may have to lay off teachers, police, and other public employees. Republicans in Congress have resisted that idea.
Trump repeated his call for a payroll tax cut and said he would soon announce a proposal for tax incentives to encourage spending at restaurants and for entertainment.
Trump also is dealing with mass protests across the country over the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, in police custody in Minneapolis last week. Floyd’s death has reignited simmering racial tensions in America.
Despite the overall drop in U.S. joblessness last month, the unemployment rate for African Americans rose to 16.8% from 16.7% in April.
Trump said strong economic growth would ease tensions.
“It’s the greatest thing that can happen for race relations,” he said.
Sourced from Reuters