Trump touts surprise job gains, calls on states to end coronavirus lockdowns
President Trump on Friday announced that he would hold at 10 a.m. press conference on new job numbers that indicate the potential start of a rebound from the coronavirus crisis, with the U.S. unemployment rate dropping unexpectedly to 13.3 percent in May, down from 14.7 percent in April.
A total of 2.5 million jobs were added, according to the latest economic numbers.
Economists had expected the May unemployment numbers to approach 20 percent, and the president seized on the unexpectedly good economic news in a flurry of tweets Friday morning.
"Really Big Jobs Report. Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!" Trump said in one tweet.
"THESE JOBS NUMBERS ARE INCREDIBLE!" he said in another.
"Oh no, the Dems are worried again. The only one that can kill this comeback is Sleepy Joe Biden!" Trump added, continuing the triumphanttweetstorm. "It's a stunner by any stretch of the imagination."
Last week 1.87 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, which represented the ninth straight weekly decline in such claims. Still, the total number of Americans filing for claims is staggering, with more than 40 million doing so since the crisis began.
Trump added that he would address the media at 10 a.m.about the news.
"I will be doing a News Conference at 10:00 A.M. on the Jobs Numbers! White House," he said.
U.S. employment numbers had tanked to some of the worst in history due to economic shutdowns imposed by states aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. States have begun lifting those restrictions in recent weeks, but the reversal in job trends still surprised most observers.
The numbers are still about triple what the unemployment numbers were just months ago, but represent significant progress in the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Fox Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.