President Donald Trump touted successes that have occurred during his administration and warned of economic gains eroding if he loses in November at a hastily organized event Friday on the heels of an economic report that showed an unexpected dip in unemployment last month.
In largely unscripted remarks from the Rose Garden that lasted roughly 40 minutes, Trump veered between the economic report, his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the widespread protests happening across the country.
“This shows that what we’ve been doing is right,” Trump said of the jobs figures, promising a “rocket ship” economic rebound as long as he remained in office.
“I’m telling you next year, unless something happens or the wrong people get in here, this will turn around,” he said.
He was responding to news from the Labor Department earlier in the day that U.S. employers added 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3%. The report was far rosier than expected by analysts, who widely predicted that the unemployment rate would hit 20% and the nation would shed millions more positions.
The figures come after all 50 states moved to ease coronavirus restrictions and reopen nonessential businesses shuttered by stay-at-home orders. Roughly half of the jobs gained last month came from bar and restaurant payrolls.