DNC on Today’s Economic Numbers

In response to today’s release of second quarter GDP numbers and weekly unemployment claims, DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement: 

“It didn’t have to be this bad. We are in the sharpest economic downturn on record, and are heading in the wrong direction because of Trump’s failed leadership. A historic drop in GDP, an economy in recession, 19 straight weeks of more than 1 million Americans filing for unemployment, states forced to shut down again as new cases skyrocket, over 150,000 American lives lost, and over 100,000 businesses closed for good

“The only thing more jaw-dropping than these numbers is the incompetence that caused them. Donald Trump inherited a strong economy on the rise. And what did he do with it? He torpedoed it. While Trump continues to claim that the economy is doing tremendous and predicts a rapid recovery, millions of Americans are struggling because he put his ego ahead of our public health, downplayed the virus, and continues to rush to reopen without ensuring it is done safely. Our country is in an economic crisis that Trump keeps making worse. America simply can’t afford four more years.”

GDP fell by an unprecedented 32.9% annualized rate last quarter — more than three times the previous record.

Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. economy contracted at a record 32.9% annual rate last quarter and weekly jobless claims rose to 1.43 million, amid signs of a slowing recovery.”

Yahoo’s Alexis Keenan: “At 32.9%, Q2 annualized contraction marked by far worst plunge ever recorded, based on BEA data spanning back to 1947. Before the pandemic, the worst GDP print on record was in the first quarter of 1958, when GDP fell 10.0% on an annualized basis.”

Unemployment claims rose for the second week in a row, with an additional 1.4 million Americans filing initial claims for unemployment. The total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits rose by the most in over two months as states pause or rollback reopening plans due to the surge in COVID-19.

Bloomberg: “Initial claims through regular state programs rose to 1.43 million in the week ended July 25, up 12,000 from the prior week, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. There were 17 million Americans filing for ongoing benefits through those programs in the period ended July 18, up 867,000 from the prior week — the largest increase since early May.”

New York Times: “It was the 19th straight week that the tally exceeded one million, an unheard-of figure before the coronavirus pandemic. And it was the second weekly increase in a row after nearly four months of declines, a sign of how the rebound in cases has undercut the economy’s nascent recovery. Claims for the previous week totaled 1.42 million.”

CNN: “In total, 30.2 million Americans claimed jobless benefits in an array of programs for the week ending July 11.”

Many business closures have now become permanent and millions of jobs are not coming back at all.

Washington Post: “The economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic has entered a new phase, with permanent business closures now outnumbering temporary ones, new data shows.”

New York Times’s Peter Baker: “More than 15,000 restaurants in America have closed permanently during the pandemic and as many as 10% of independent operators could shut by year’s end.”

Associated Press: “Nearly half of Americans whose families experienced a layoff during the coronavirus pandemic now believe those jobs are lost forever, a new poll shows, a sign of increasing pessimism that would translate into roughly 10 million workers needing to find a new employer, if not a new occupation.”

Manufacturing was in a recession last year and fell even more sharply with the pandemic. As of June, nearly 300,000 factory jobs were lost since Trump took office.

New York Times: “After increasing in the first two years of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the number of manufacturing jobs flatlined last year and fell sharply with the pandemic. As of June, there were nearly 300,000 fewer factory jobs in the United States than there were when Mr. Trump was inaugurated.”

Despite Trump’s promises, millions of jobs were lost under his watch and job growth actually slowed even before the pandemic hit.

FactCheck.org: “7.8 million jobs have been lost — including 7,100 coal mining jobs and 274,000 manufacturing jobs.”

FactCheck.org: “Even in February, when employment was at its highest, Trump was far behind the pace needed to fulfill his campaign boast that he would be ‘the greatest jobs president that God ever created.’ Up until then, the average monthly gain under Trump had been 185,000, while the average monthly gain during the four years before he took office was 216,000.”

AP Fact Check: “Trump never managed to achieve the rates of economic growth he promised in the 2016 campaign. The U.S. economy was not the world’s best in history when this started.”