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Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday called June’s jobs report “positive news,” but warned that the worst is yet to come and accused President Trump of "giving up" on addressing the root public health causes of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Labor Department reported Thursday morning that the economy added 4.8 million jobs last month and that the unemployment rate dropped to 11.1% — down from 13.3%.

  • “There’s no victory to be celebrated,” Biden said in a video message from his home in Delaware. "We are still down nearly 15 million jobs and the pandemic is getting worse, not better.”
  • "Many of the jobs that have come back should not have been lost in the first place."

The big picture: The president raced to the cameras this morning to tout the jobs numbers.

  • Trump didn’t take questions, but when his aides fanned out across cable TV to talk up the economy, they hinted that the case for a big phase 4 stimulus package is diminishing.
  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested he wasn’t in favor of a generous extension of unemployment benefits, which are scheduled to expire at the end of the month.

Between the lines: Separate Labor Department figures released Thursday showed that 1.4 million people filed for unemployment claims last week, an indication that the jobs losses remained constant throughout the month — a trend that would not have been detected in the overall jobs report.

  • “Does this feel like a victory?” Biden asked.
  • "Quit claiming victory with almost 15 million Americans still out of work because of the crisis," he finished. "Quit ignoring the reality of this pandemic and the horrifying loss of American life. Act. Lead. Lead. Or get out of the way so others can, Mr. President."

Go deeper: How Joe Biden would tackle the coronavirus

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 9, 2020 - Economy & Business

As job losses continue, doubts are rising about unemployment data

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 25.5 million people were collecting unemployment benefits as of mid-September, and nearly 1.3 million people filed first-time jobless claims last week — more than 800,000 for traditional unemployment and 464,000 for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

The state of play: That number excluded any new claims from the largest state in the country, California, which paused its program to implement fraud prevention technology and comb through a backlog of claims that had reached nearly 600,000 and was growing by 10,000 a day.

Joe Biden to attend town hall event after Trump pulls out of second debate

Joe Biden boarding his campaign plane at an airport in New Castle, Delaware, on Oct. 8. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden will appear at a town hall event hosted by ABC News and moderated by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia on Oct. 15, the network announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: The second presidential debate was set for Oct. 15 until President Trump, and then Biden, backed out on Thursday. Trump first refused to attend the debate after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that it would be held virtually, and Biden indicated that that he too would skip it if Trump would not show.

Commission cancels second presidential debate

Donald Trump and Joe Biden and the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates on Friday canceled the second debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden after Trump, and then Biden, backed out of the event on Thursday.

Why it matters: Trump first refused to attend the Oct. 15 debate after the commission announced that it would be held virtually, and Biden indicated that that he too would skip it if Trump would not show.

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