Economy & Business

W.H. Economics Adviser Stephen Moore: ‘We Don’t Need’ More Covid Relief Legislation after Positive Jobs Report

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

White House Economic Adviser Stephen Moore said Friday that the unexpectedly positive May jobs report makes approving a “phase four” coronavirus relief package unnecessary.

“It takes a lot of the wind out of the sails of any phase four. We don’t need it now,” Moore said.

“There’s no reason to have a major spending bill. The sense of urgent crisis is very greatly dissipated by the report,” he added.

The economy added 2.5 million jobs in May as states lifted lockdown and stay at home orders put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus and businesses reopened, according to numbers released Friday by the Labor Department. The jump marks the largest jobs increase in the country in over 80 years.

The jobless rate meanwhile sank to 13.3 percent, down from 14.7 percent in April.

Economists had projected another 8.33 million job losses and expected the unemployment rate to tick up to 19.5 percent, approaching Great Depression levels.

The stock market soared following the release of the jobs numbers, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 800 points by 11 a.m. on Friday.

The federal government has approved $1.25 trillion in aid for the economy since the pandemic began, causing some economists to warn that the apparent recovery may be the result of government stimulus funding set to run out in the coming months.

President Trump, who has predicted a speedy recovery since the beginning of the pandemic in March, when economic activity slowed to a crawl, hailed Friday’s jobs report as “outstanding” for the country.

The president added that the economy’s recovery would be a boon for race relations as the nation reels from protests and riots over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for about nine minutes, including after Floyd passed out.

“It’s the greatest thing that can happen for race relations, for the African-American community, for the Asian American, for the Hispanic-American community, for women, for everything,” Trump said. “Because our country is so strong. And that’s what my plan is. We’re going to have the strongest economy in the world.”

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