By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
President Donald Trump on Friday celebrated the return of 2.5 million jobs to the U.S. economy in May, and went on the attack against Democrats as surveys show him trailing behind Joe Biden among voters in key states.
“We had a tremendous morning, a tremendous announcement,” Trump said in a previously unscheduled event at the White House, following the surprise jobs figures.
The stronger-than-expected jobs report came as Trump lags presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Biden in polls nationally and in key swing states, such as Florida and Wisconsin. With the U.S. reeling from both the coronavirus pandemic and violent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, while in Minneapolis policy custody, Biden has sharpened his rhetoric against Trump as the former vice president aims to capture the White House in November.
Speaking in the Rose Garden, Trump said the greatest thing that can happen for race relations in the U.S. is a strong economy. Floyd, a black man, was killed after being pinned down by a white police officer for nearly nine minutes.
After Trump used Floyd’s name in his remarks, Biden said it was “despicable” for the president to try to put words in the deceased man’s mouth.
“The fact that he did so on a day when black unemployment rose and black youth unemployment skyrocketed tells you everything you need to know about who this man is and what he cares about,” Biden said in remarks in Dover, Del.
Without naming Biden, Trump said only policies, such as raising taxes and a Green New Deal could halt a full economic rebound, predicting: “I think we’re going to be back higher next year than ever before.”
With the unemployment rate still at more than 13%, Democrats said Trump is celebrating too soon.
“Trump says he is joyous? Families are struggling, hospitals are overwhelmed, businesses have shut down for good, and Americans are dying every day — all of this was preventable,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez in a statement.
The Trump administration and congressional Democrats have been locked in a fierce debate about what form any further stimulus should take as the country gradually reopens from coronavirus lockdowns. House Democrats approved a $3.5 trillion bill that includes another round of payments to Americans and about $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments.
But Trump’s advisers have stressed the need for other policies, including tax cuts and regulatory relief. Bloomberg News reported, meanwhile, that the administration is considering a $1 trillion package that could include funds for infrastructure.
U.S. stocks /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.52% surged Friday in the wake of the jobs and unemployment numbers.
Market Snapshot: Dow surges 700 points after jobs report shows surprise jump in payrolls.