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Unemployment Rate Slips to 13.3 Percent; Brees' Comments Missed the Mark. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired June 5, 2020 - 08:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To make positive meaning so that you can deal with this in a healthy way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's his name?

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's his name?

CROWD: George Floyd.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, to hear more of our heroes from our heroes, go to

All right, any second now we are awaiting news on the economy, the unemployment rate, jobless figures. We'll bring you those breaking numbers, next.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The Labor Department has just released the jobs report for the month of May. And it is a surprising one.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans has all of the breaking details.

I know you're just getting your arms around it. What do you see?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, the job market stopped crashing in May. And that's really, really important here. Two and a half million jobs were added to the payrolls. So there was hiring, and it was mostly in leisure and hospitality and food and drink establishments. So you can see those limited reopenings. And the government mentions that in the report. The limited reopenings are starting to have an effect. And the jobless rate fell to 13.3 percent. That is still a

devastatingly large number, but it's not that 20 percent that so many had been worried about.

When you look within some of the categories, black unemployment still 16.8 percent. That is a devastating number for that segment and sector as well. Hispanic unemployment still very, very high here. But 13.3 percent is the overall number. It is not that depression era 20 percent that so many of us had been worried about.

We are seeing the signs of reopening in the economy, right? We've seen mortgage applications rise because people are buying homes at low interest rates. The Vegas casinos are opening. The airlines are starting to add capacity. Hotels and restaurants are starting to note a rise in reservations. So slow reopenings has translated into 2.5 million jobs hired in the last month.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting, Christine.

All right, also joining us, we have CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley and CNN White House correspondent John Harwood.

Dow futures, Julia, are up -- they are up 500 -- more than -- almost 600 points right now. They -- well, obviously the stock market likes this news.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It was caught off guard, I think, to some degree. They're reopening, the jobs hiring is happening far quicker, I think, than people expected. Remember, this report only takes us to May the 12th. So we've got another three weeks potentially of job gains that have already happened. This number is already out of date.

The one caveat, and it's buried right at the bottom of this report, again, the Labor of -- Bureau of Labor saying here, this number would be 3 percentage points around higher if people were classifying themselves as unemployed rather than just absent from the workforce. So when you look at this 13 percent number, you have to add in another 3 percentage points. It's 16 percent. It's still in any ordinary times catastrophic in terms of the number of job losses that we're talking about. But, again, the silver lining here is we are adding jobs back quicker than we thought.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. And, John Harwood, President Trump is not surprisingly tweeting about this and tooting his own horn saying, great job, President Trump.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he has reason to gloat if, in fact, we have brought the unemployment rate down without deleterious effects on the -- dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. This is unequivocally good news and it reflects the fact that we're not hitting, as Christine said, that -- those 20 percent numbers.

I should point out, though, this remains at 13 percent the highest unemployment we have had since the Great Depression. And there's an interesting subtext here, this is going to decrease pressure in Congress to extend those unemployment benefits. This is something Democrats have pushed for, Republicans have resisted.

On the other hand, government employment continues to go down. We've got these protests around the country that require massive law enforcement presence. Republicans have started making the argument that Democrats want to defund the police. Well, this is going to put pressure on Republicans to fund the police by aiding state and local governments which are broke and otherwise will face tremendous pressure to continue reducing employment, including for first responders like police and fire.

CAMEROTA: What about that, Christine? I mean if this is a more v- shaped recovery, as you've talked about, what does that mean for stimulus?

ROMANS: Yes. Well, look, there's a couple of really big risks here, and John is absolutely right, one of them is that the financial crises on the state level, you start to see a whole bunch of firing there of teachers and firefighters, law enforcement, that's down the pike if there is not aid, state aid, and relief for those states, no question about that. And then there's the health risk that you have some kind of a snap back later this year, we're not prepared for it, and you have to have shutdowns again and it's clunky and not good for the economy and not good for consumer confidence. Those are the two big risks here right now.

So I think they're still going to be talking about ways that they can strategically help the recovery along here, but I think John's also right that the end of this expanded unemployment benefits is probably coming at the end of July.


That extra $600 a week in extra pay, I think there's not going to be with numbers like these. There's not going to be much appetite among Republicans to concede on that.

CAMEROTA: Julia, it's just so hard to predict now the way we used to, the metrics that we used to be able to use in terms of, if the economy was on an upswing or a downswing. The coronavirus, you know, is the factor that throws all of that into question.

Today, the snapshot is that things are looking good and they're looking up. We don't know two weeks from now where the virus will be.

CHATTERLEY: It's such a great point. Things are looking better than we expected. They're still catastrophic. This is a catastrophic jobs market. Let's not forget that. So while we are seeing jobs coming back here and they're coming back quicker than expected, we don't know how many jobs over the next few weeks are still going to be needed. Businesses, for example, small businesses are going to be making decisions over how many staff they need. Do they need the full employment that they had before? Do they need half? Do they need a quarter? So we are still in a messy period.

And I agree with what Christine and John said, but the counter is the argument has been that this $600 bump up on a weekly basis would countermand people rehiring, would mean that people don't come back into the workforce where the argument in these numbers is, it's not having that effect because workers are coming back into the workforce. So you can make this argument both ways. There is still going to need to be an incredible amount of support over the coming months for people that aren't getting access, aren't coming back in the workforce. So, to be able to say, look, that's not happening, I think, is the wrong argument to be making at this point for Congress.

CAMEROTA: Well, and, John, what of that? I mean we know the president is very happy about this. But what are lawmakers saying about what their next moves will be?

HARWOOD: Well, you've got Democrats having put on the table a $3 trillion relief package that includes extended unemployment benefits, that includes money for vaccine research, that includes aid for state and local governments, which is probably their most important priority. And we hear governors, Republican and Democrats, saying, we need this money to keep our operations going and the Floyd protests only strengthen that argument.

But Republicans have said, well, we've spent so much, the deficit's rising, we've got to be cautious, and the president, after initially saying he was going to support aid for state and local governments, has also been more cautious. So there's going to be a negotiation that takes place and is going to ripen sometime in July. We don't know what the outcome of that is going to be.

But, Alisyn, I think you made the most important point, which is that the pandemic, the virus, is going to have a lot to say about how sustainable this recovery is. We've seen a plateau in cases. Deaths are coming down. That's good. Tests are going up. That's good. Test positivity is going down. That is also good.

However, there is a plateau in the number of cases. The virus is still out there. If it comes back in September, we don't know what effect that's going to have not only on public health but also on this economy.

CAMEROTA: Christine, let's look at the market again --


CAMEROTA: Because it is shooting up like a rocket. It is at -- up 664 points, make that 665.


CAMEROTA: We can keep doing this. They are clearly very happy about this.

ROMANS: Look, I mean, the market has priced in a really quick recovery. It really has. There are risks to that, of course, but the S&P has just come off its best 50 days, I think, in 50 years or something. I mean it's been a really good summer for investors, even as it's been a really terrible summer for Americans. CAMEROTA: So interesting.

Christine, Julia, John, thank you all very much for this breaking news.


BERMAN: Also, economists off by 10 million in their projections on the employment numbers.

Here's what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 12:15 p.m. ET, Biden speaks on economy.

3:30 p.m. ET, Trump tours medical factory.

4:00 p.m. ET, Barack Obama town hall.


BERMAN: Saints quarterback Drew Brees has apologized for his criticism as kneeling -- of kneeling as a form of protest in the NFL. He says he missed the mark. New reaction from a former NFL player, next.



CAMEROTA: Prominent black athletes are divided over Drew Brees' criticism of kneeling in the NFL. The New Orleans Saints quarterback has apologized, saying he missed the mark with his comments.

Joining us now to discuss this and more is Emmanuel Acho, former NFL player and now a sports analyst. He is also the host of a new series called "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man."

And I have been really looking forward to having an uncomfortable conversation with you. I'm so excited to do this, Emmanuel, so great to see you.

Before we get to the uncomfortable conversation, what are your thoughts on Drew Brees' first statement and his apology?

EMMANUEL ACHO, SPORTS ANALYST: My thoughts on his first statement were that he grossly missed the mark. He -- it shows that he's not truly aware of what's going on with the situation in regards to black people, the oppression of black people and police brutality.

More importantly, though, however, Drew Brees apologized. In 2020, when a grown man issues an apology, when he shows true contrition and remorse, all you can do is accept that. Now, it's not just about saying sorry. I hope that Drew Brees is aware why he is sorry. I hope Drew Brees not only apologizes, but I hope he educates himself as to what he is apologizing for because empty words are meaningless, but at face value we have to accept that apology.

CAMEROTA: OK, so let's get to educating ourselves. And that, I think, is the impetus for your series "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man" --

ACHO: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Because you are having to field all sorts of questions from white people. I mean we've just heard this time and again this week about white people asking questions that you all think we should know the answers to, but we don't. And so let me just pull one -- one moment from your series of a question that you got.


ACHO: The first question I've seen a lot of, Emmanuel, why are you all rioting? I understand protesting, but why riot?


CAMEROTA: That's just one of the questions. What are some of the questions that you're hearing?

ACHO: Yes, the most predominant questions were, why are you all rioting?


Why do you think white privilege exists? Why can black people say the n word but white people can't? And then, obviously, I get, but what about black on black crime? You all only -- I only hear an uproar when there's white on white crime. And I truly wanted to answer some of those questions. And I acknowledge that white privilege isn't saying your life hasn't been hard. White privilege is simply saying, your skin color, it hasn't contributed to the difficulty of your life. I acknowledge that black people, we care about black on black crime, but when a black person commits a crime, typically they go to jail. We've seen so often when a white person has committed a crime against a black person, they have gotten off.

Remember, Ahmaud Arbery, his murderers, they weren't arrested for two months and it's only because we saw the video. So, you know, now that my video, I guess, has been reached by 18 million people across three social media platforms, it appears that so many of my white brothers and sisters are learning, they're educating themselves, because I truly believe the biggest issue with this world, outside of being a sin problem is, the lack of education, Alisyn. So many of my friends are -- they're just racially ignorant. They don't have anyone to ask. And so I said, you know what, come have this conversation with me, come have this uncomfortable conversation with a black man.

CAMEROTA: You're doing such a service, you really are, because I'm sure your head explodes when you see some of these questions.

ACHO: Yes.

CAMEROTA: I mean are you getting -- I mean, are -- really, what is your reaction when you see some of the questions?

ACHO: So, most of the time -- so I try to check every single e-mail. And most of the time it's genuine. But I almost feel an obligation to answer them because there could be one conversation with one person that could save a life. And the fact of the matter is, I don't know what conversation that is. And so I just now have kind of taken on that burden to answer every e-mail.

One of the most interesting ones was from a 19-year-old girl in rural Alabama, she said, and she was, like, hey, I never thought I was racist until now. But there are a lot of black people that are thugs in my community that are perpetuating the stereotype. And I said, OK, calm down, let me explain why ghettos even exist. Let me explain why all these types of communities even exist and maybe you'll have a little more grace for the situation.

Alisyn, I truly believe that it's just a lack of knowledge. We think that we are so far removed from the likes of segregation, and from the likes of slavery, that there's not still a ripple effect or that there's not still a wake when, in all honesty, there still is.

CAMEROTA: We've heard from so many of our voices on the show this week saying, like, white people, stop asking, whoa, what can I do. You know, go figure it out yourself. And I hear that. But in our remaining 15 seconds, what do you want white people to do this morning? What would help?

ACHO: The first thing is educate yourself. Truly, truly, truly. And that's why I put out my video. So, please, watch that. The second thing, after you educated yourself, speak. White people have to infiltrate white communities. And my dear white friends, they need to have their ears opened and their hearts opened, but they can only do that if they understand what's actually going on.

So, educate, and then act.

CAMEROTA: Emmanuel Acho, the series again is "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man."

Thank you very much for being on. Great to talk to you.

ACHO: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: George Floyd's death has sparked protests and passion these last two weeks. Americans joining the Floyd family in calling for change. Of course there are so many more people who have been senselessly killed because of the color of their skin. And we remember some of them this morning.


ON SCREEN TEXT: David McAtee, 53, June 1, 2020.

George Floyd, 46, May 25, 2020.

Breonna Taylor, 26, March 13, 2020. Ahmaud Arbery, 25, February 23, 2020.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, October 12, 2019.

Botham Jean, 26, September 6, 2018.

Stephon Clark, 22, March 18, 2018.

Jordan Edwards, 15, April 29, 2017.

Keith Lamont Scott, 43, September 20, 2016.

Terence Crutcher, 40, September 16, 2016.

Philando Castile, 32, July 6, 2016.

Alton Sterling, 37, July 5, 2016.

Samuel DuBose, 43, July 19, 2015.

Sandra Bland, 28.

Freddie Gray, 25, April 19, 2015.

Walter Scott, 50, April 4, 2015.

Eric Harris, 44, April 2, 2015.

Tamir Rice, 12, November 22, 2014.

Laquan McDonald, 17, October 20, 2014.

Michael Brown, 18, August 9, 2014.

John Crawford III, 22, August 5, 2014.

Eric Garner, 43, July 17, 2014.

Black lives matter.




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It's Friday morning. We're glad you're with us. I'm Poppy Harlow.



The breaking news this morning, and it is good news, surprising news, new jobs numbers out just in the last few minutes show the economy added some 2.5 million jobs and with --