News & Politics

Biggest Job Gain in History, Unemployment Drops as Lockdowns Lift

President Donald Trump pumps his fist while boarding Air Force One as he departs Thursday, May 21, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump will visit a Ypsilanti, Mich., Ford plant that has been converted to making personal protection and medical equipment. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

U.S. employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, the largest monthly increase in recorded history, as coronavirus lockdowns across the country were lifted. The unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent last month, down from 14.7 percent in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

CNBC reported that the May gain of 2.5 million jobs “was by far the biggest one-month jobs gain in U.S. history since at least 1939.”

“THESE NUMBERS ARE INCREDIBLE!” President Donald Trump tweeted.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payrolls to drop by 8.333 million and the unemployment rate to rise to 19.5 percent from April’s 14.7 percent. That would have been the worst figure since the Great Depression. Instead, May’s numbers suggested the U.S. may be on the road to recovery.

“Barring a second surge of Covid-19, the overall U.S. economy may have turned a corner, as evidenced by the surprise job gains today, even though it still remains to be seen exactly what the new normal will look like,” Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank, told Fox Business.

President Trump said he would address the unemployment numbers at a press conference at 10 a.m.

“It’s a stupendous number. It’s joyous, let’s call it like it is. The Market was right. It’s stunning!” Trump tweeted, tagging CNBC’s Jim Cramer. It was unclear as to whether or not the president was quoting Cramer.

He celebrated the “AMAZING JOBS REPORT” in a tweetstorm, tagging various talking heads.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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