President Trump touted May’s surprising positive job report that exceeded economists’ expectations on Friday, and predicted the battered economy will start to recover all of the lost jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic by 2021.
“We’re bringing our jobs back. We’re going to be back higher next year than ever before,” Trump said touting the economy news during a last minute news briefing held at the Rose Garden Friday morning. “We’re opening with a bang.”
“We’ll go back to having the greatest economy anywhere in the world, nothing close. And I think we’re going to have a very good upcoming few months. I think you’re going to have a very good August, very good July, but a spectacular, maybe spectacular September and next year’s going to be one of the best years we’ve ever had economically,” Trump added.
The unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 13.3 percent in May, down from 14.7 percent in April, the Department of Labor announced Friday morning. The economy also gained 2.5 million jobs in May, helping to push the rate lower due to states and counties lifting restrictions imposed to reopen their economy amid the declining number of coronavirus cases. Nearly half of the job gains in May created were in the leisures, hospitality, and construction industry.
“If you look at Georgia, if you look at Florida, if you look at South Carolina, if you look at so many different places that have opened up, the ones that are most energetic about opening, they’re doing tremendous business. And that is what these numbers are all about,” Trump said. “Look at what’s going in Florida, it’s incredible. The job the governor of Florida’s done, it’s incredible. The numbers they’re doing … you gotta open it up.”
Economists predicted after the April jobless rate were released that May unemployment numbers would be even worse and skyrocket to nearly 20 percent.
“We’re opening and we’re opening with a bang and we’ve been talking about a ‘V.’ This is far better than a ‘V.’ This is a rocketship,” Trump stated, reference the economic predictions was the “greatest miscalculation in the history of business shows.”
Trump called the jobs report “an affirmation of all the work we’ve been doing” over the course of his administration and said earlier predictions were “the greatest miscalculation in the history of business shows.”
Earlier, Trump tweeted the jobs report after it was released, “Really Big Jobs Report. Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!”
After the remarks, Trump signed a bill extending the flexibility for businesses to spend the loans granted under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP Flexibility Act passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Wednesday after the House approved the bill in a 417-1 vote last week. The program was established by the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus relief bill that was passed at the end of March.
The legislation extends the time for businesses to use the PPP loans from eight weeks to 24 weeks. It also adjusts a 75-25 ratio requiring businesses to spend 75 percent of the loan on payroll and 25 percent on other fixed costs to a 60-40 ratio.
“I want to thank the Democrats. I think we had essentially unanimous votes in the Senate and the House,” Trump said, calling PPP a “very important” piece of legislation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared after the numbers were released, rising by almost 800 points in premarket activity to settle just shy of 27,000 by mid-morning.