Donald Trump Declares He Launched 'Fastest Economic Comeback in History' But Did He?

With several million U.S. jobs restored following record losses during the first two months of the new coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has championed the nation's economic progress and cited it as an example of his administration's success.

"The Lamestream Media is not talking about what is happening with the Stock Market and JOBS. Both are doing GREAT!" Trump wrote on Twitter Monday morning. "The Radical Left will destroy the USA. Be careful what you wish for!"

The president's comments trailed a series of similar ones. Speaking about the strengths of his economic policies over presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's at the White House on Friday, Trump said: "I created the greatest economy we've ever had. And now, we're creating it again."

He claimed his administration initiated "the greatest economic comeback in history" one day earlier, the Washington Post reported.

The Lamestream Media is not talking about what is happening with the Stock Market and JOBS. Both are doing GREAT! The Radical Left will destroy the USA. Be careful what you wish for!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2020

Data included in the U.S. Department of Labor's most recent unemployment insurance report showed fewer people filed jobless claims during the week preceding July 4 than they had during the week prior. Still, the latest unemployment claims substantially exceeded weekly claims filed throughout the Great Recession. According to the labor department, more than 1.3 million people unemployment claims throughout the week ending on July 4, down from roughly 1.4 million claims filed the previous week.

Although national unemployment numbers have decreased steadily since an initial spike in job losses during the first two months of the pandemic, they remain more than twice as high as those reported amid the 2008 and 2009 recession. Jobless claims peaked in March 2009 with 665,000 claims filed over one week.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump is pictured at the White House in Washington, D.C., on July 13. Drew Angerer/Getty

Unemployment surged at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, as businesses across dozens of industries were ordered to close as a means to curb virus transmission. Jobless rates reached 14.7 percent at the end of April, the highest reported since the Great Depression. The Bureau of Labor Statistics later estimated the actual April rate was up to 5 percent higher.

The Bureau's July report noted that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent by June, a 2.2 percent decrease from May's numbers. However, the jobless rate and total number of unemployed individuals were up by 7.6 percent and 12 million since February.

"The four-week average continues to slide as well, although the pace of decline has begun to slow," said Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network, in previous comments to Newsweek. "It's a concerning outlook for the 18 million who are claiming insured unemployment, particularly as a second wave in cases appears to be forming in some of the states that were previously sheltered from the pandemic."

The White House referenced Trump's remarks about the economy at a Monday roundtable briefing in response to Newsweek's request for comment. Trump referenced Monday's stock market figures and said jobs "are being produced at a record pace" during the briefing.

"The stock market was up almost 500 points today. The economy is rebuilding," he said. "Jobs are being produced at a record pace. We've never had a pace like this. And I will tell you if Biden got in, this economy would be destroyed."

This story was updated to include the White House's reply.