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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

President Trump boasts economic recovery since May during news conference

The U.S. unemployment rate fell sharply in August to 8.4% from 10.2% even as hiring slowed, with employers adding the fewest jobs since the pandemic began.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump held a news conference on Labor Day from the White House.

During the event, Trump attacked Biden as a leader incapable of handling the coronavirus and reviving the economy. He said Biden and Harris would “destroy this country and would destroy this economy.”

Trump boasted of adding more than 10 million jobs since May without mentioning that’s only about half of the jobs lost since the pandemic.

He tweeted before the news conference, "10.6 Million Jobs Created In Just 4 Months, A Record!!!"

The U.S. economy has been steadily rebounding from its epic collapse in the spring as many businesses have reopened and rehired some laid-off employees. Yet the recovery is far from complete. The U.S. unemployment rate fell sharply in August to 8.4% from 10.2% even as hiring slowed, with employers adding the fewest jobs since the pandemic began.

Employers added 1.4 million jobs, the Labor Department said Friday, down from 1.7 million in July. The U.S. economy has recovered about half the 22 million jobs lost to the pandemic.

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Friday’s report from the Labor Department added to evidence that nearly six months after the coronavirus paralyzed the country, the economy is mounting only a fitful recovery. From small businesses to hotels, restaurants, airlines and entertainment venues, a wide spectrum of companies are struggling to survive the loss of customers with confirmed viral cases still high.

After an epic collapse in the spring, when the economy shrank at a roughly 30% annual rate, growth has been rebounding as states have reopened at least parts of their economies. Yet the recovery remains far from complete.

Many economists think significant hiring may be hard to sustain because employers are operating under a cloud of uncertainty about the virus. Daily confirmed case counts have fallen from 70,000 in June to about 40,000. The decline has leveled off in the past week and the viral caseload remains higher than it was in May and June.

RELATED: US unemployment rate falls to 8.4% even as hiring slows

The Associated Press contributed to this report.