U.S. President Donald Trump at a press briefing on Thursday celebrated a government report showing the country gained 4.8 million jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 11.1% last month, when states began allowing businesses to reopen from strict shutdowns aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump took the victory lap as the coronavirus resurges in states with large economies such as California, Texas and Florida, prompting local governments to once again shutter bars and other businesses where the deadly respiratory disease is thought to spread easily.
A separate report on Thursday said that 1.43 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the final week of June.
Despite the swelling loads of new cases, Trump said he expected to see good employment numbers in the coming months and that the third quarter gross domestic product report, due days before the November presidential election, would also be strong.
Thursday’s report, Trump said, “suggests that workers are confident about finding a new job.” He added, though, that the White House and Congress continue to negotiate on another round of stimulus, frequently called “Phase 4,” to help the economy withstand a pandemic now in its fourth month.