- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2020

White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett said a private-sector jobs report for May released on Wednesday could mean the economy is recovering even more quickly than expected after the recent coronavirus-related lockdowns.

ADP estimated that U.S. private-sector jobs decreased by about 2.8 million from April to May, which was significantly better than expected and well below the previous month’s record number of close to 20 million.

“This ADP report is a real positive sign, and it’s such a positive sign that I really have to grab my pencil and go back to my desk and see what’s going on. … It’s way lower than I expected, in a good way,” Mr. Hassett said on Fox Business Network.

Estimates had pegged the expected May number to be around 9 million.

“We’re getting close to the bottom, for sure,” Mr. Hassett said. “The number is so good — it’s such good news — that I really have to dig deep into it and see if there’s not something funny going on.”

There have been more than 40 million unemployment claims filed since the pandemic took hold in March, and Mr. Hassett said some projections have the U.S. economy contracting by 50% in the second quarter.

“If you look at the states that have been opening up, then you can see that they are really getting back to normal quickly,” he said. “I do think that we’re going to see bottom. I was expecting June, but this ADP number does suggest that you’re very, very close to a turning point.”

The Labor Department is due to release its unemployment figures for May on Friday.

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