Fox Business anchor Charles Payne said he understands why President Trump did not take questions from reporters during a pre-holiday press briefing at the White House, where he touted the June jobs report that indicated the economy is beginning to rebound from the depths of its crash during the coronavirus pandemic.
Payne told “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday, “I think the reason why the president didn’t take any questions is because when we got the May report, which was the best job report then on record in history, the very first question was why did [the] black unemployment rate go higher?”
“The inference there was that somehow black Americans did not participate in that great jobs report, when in fact … black Americans did get jobs, just more of them came into the labor force, which skewed that one unemployment number.”
“So the media is trying to find the most negative, disingenuous thing to talk about instead of something that was joyous and hopeful for all Americans, including black Americans, so I’m glad the president didn’t take questions,” he continued.
The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 13.3 percent in May, down from a record high in April, which indicated that the nation’s economy is recovering faster than expected from the coronavirus lockdown.
The Labor Department said in its Friday report that employers added more than two million jobs in May, which at the time was the biggest increase on record.
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the report, conducted in mid-May, to show that unemployment rose to 19.8 percent in May and that employers shed 8 million jobs. If the expectation had been accurate, it would have been the worst figure since the Great Depression.
On Thursday, the Labor Department revealed, in its report, that the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 11.1 percent in June and employers added 4.8 million jobs— which is now the biggest increase on record. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the report to show that unemployment dropped to 12.3 percent and that employers added 3 million jobs.
The economy shed a combined 22.1 million jobs in April and March.
On Thursday Payne noted that “these numbers ebb and flow, they go up and down, but the focus is never going to be in these press conferences on the pluses, which is a shame because what this country needs right now more than anything else is to appreciate that we’re heading in the right direction.”
“Our economy is roaring back,” Trump declared Thursday, saying the response to the coronavirus pandemic, coordinated with governors, is “working out very well.”
He added: “These are historic numbers.”
Also speaking on “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow noted that there was an increase of more than 400,000 jobs for African-Americans in June following an increase of about 300,000 in May.
“So that’s a 700,000 job increase for African-Americans,” Kudlow said.
“Hispanics are up 1.5 million in this report and women [are] up 3 million in this report,” he continued.
“Every single American needs to have a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of hope that they can get their lives back and that includes everyone,” Payne said on Thursday.
“So when I see these reports, and I saw over and over and over again that somehow blacks didn’t get jobs, well they got 404,000 last month, I’m proud of that, it’s a record number.”
He went on to say that he’s “so tired” of people forgetting “about all good news” and focusing “on potential negative news.”
“It’s a good day. It’s a better day. We are heading in the right direction,” Payne said.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Fox Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.