Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden on Friday criticized Republican President Donald Trump for celebrating a better-than-expected employment report ahead of time, saying the struggling US economy is still facing a painstaking reconstruction.
Biden said the government's surprising May report, which shows the creation of 2.5 million jobs in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, is only the first sign of a recovery from a deep and broad recession.
"There is still so much to do. So many Americans are still injured," said Biden, the former vice president, at Delaware State University, a historically black university in Dover.
The comments came after the Ministry of Labor said the unemployment rate fell from 14.7% in April to 13.3%, suggesting that the economic downturn may have bottomed out. The number of non-agricultural workers rose after a record drop of just under 20.7 million in April.
Trump, who expected a rapid economic turnaround to increase his chances against Biden in the November 3 election, quickly gained recognition at a White House press conference and said the economy could regain any lost jobs by next year .
Biden said Trump's celebration, while so many Americans were still fighting, was a sign of how contactless he was.
"The president, who takes no responsibility for costing millions and millions of Americans their work, does not deserve recognition when a fraction of them return," said Biden.
Not everyone benefited from the improvement, Biden noted, as the African American unemployment rate rose slightly.
The report underlined the challenge Biden faces in shaping his own economic message.
Even if Biden Trump leads nationwide in a head-to-head match, surveys show that the president has largely more confidence in his dealings with the economy.
Biden, who has called for ambitious federal programs to rescue the country from recession, repeated its pledge to release a comprehensive recovery plan soon.
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