Trump Admin Defies the Odds, 2.5M Jobs Added in May Despite 8M in Expected Losses


The country’s unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent and 2.5 million jobs were added in May amid the coronavirus pandemic, shattering economists’ expectations.

According to the monthly employment report released Friday by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate fell below last month’s record-high of 14.7 percent.

The drop is in contrast to projections from some economists, who estimated that the jobless rate would climb to nearly 20 percent.

President Donald Trump celebrated the dramatic turnaround Friday morning on Twitter.

“Really Big Jobs Report. Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!” he tweeted.

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Trump also delivered remarks from the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning to celebrate the shocking numbers.

“This is a very big day for our country,” Trump said, noting the country is still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic while also commenting on ongoing civil unrest in American cities.

During his remarks, the president promised the unemployment rate would continue to drop, and encouraged businesses by painting an optimistic future.

According to CNBC, economists who Dow Jones surveyed had estimated 8.3 million additional jobs would be lost in May, bringing the unemployment rate to a Great Depression-era 19.5 percent.

But instead of millions more jobless claims, 2.5 million workers were added to payrolls, as states started to gradually reopen their economies after many businesses deemed “nonessential” and forced to close beginning in March.

“As it turned out, May’s numbers showed the U.S. may well be on the road to recovery after its fastest plunge in history,” CNBC’s Jeff Cox reported.

Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at the private bank Brown Brothers Harriman, told CNBC the Friday jobs report is evidence that the damage of prolonged shutdowns of businesses was not as severe as previously believed.

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“It seems the damage from the nationwide lockdown was not as severe or as lasting as we feared a month ago,” Clemons said.

Investors seemed to share Clemson’s confidence, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained nearly 900 points Friday to sit at almost 27,200 as of midday Eastern Time on Friday.

A White House media release noted that most of the jobs gained back from April to May were in the sectors of leisure and hospitality (1.2 million), construction (464,000), education and health services (424,000), retail trade (368,000) and manufacturing (225,000).

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“These job gains surprised forecasters, given many States were only beginning to reopen their economies during the reports’ survey reference periods,” the release continued.

The White House is celebrating the jobs report, but it also projects the unemployment rate to continue to decline.

“While May’s jobs report is unquestionably positive news for America’s economic comeback, there is still much more room to grow. Three months ago in February, the unemployment rate was 9.8 percentage points lower (3.5 percent) and there were 19.6 million more jobs,” the White House said in the statement.

“But the economy beating expectations by 10 million jobs and the unemployment rate falling instead of rising show that the transition back to strong economic growth began earlier than many expected.”

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.