Donald Trump says it is a 'great day for George Floyd' as US unemployment rates fall

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

US president Donald Trump hailed it a "great day for George Floyd" after America's unemployment rate unexpectedly fell.

Mr Trump invoked Mr Floyd's name to praise the uptick in employment and an economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis that has disproportionately affected black Americans.

“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country,” Mr Trump during a rambling speech in the White House's Rose Garden on Friday.

A protestor in Georgia. Credit: AP

“This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody,” he continued.

The president spoke for nearly an hour and mostly ignored the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and the death of Mr Floyd in a speech that is bound to further anger protestors.

Mr Trump's speech revelled in the drop in out-of-work Americas after unemployment fell to 13.3% in May as businesses reopened following the coronavirus lockdown.

Black Lives Matter were painted on it by city workers in Washington DC. Credit: AP

Despite the president's glee at the fall, the jobless rate is still on par with what the nation witnessed during the Great Depression in the 1930s, and the real figure may also be worse following acknowledged errors by the US Labor Department.

Mr Trump has pushed states to reopen economies despite warnings from public health figures that he risked a second wave of the virus which has killed more than 100,000 Americans.

Speaking on Friday he said the economy is going to come back from the coronavirus crisis like a “rocket ship.”

“This shows that what we’ve been doing is right,” he said.

"This is outstanding what’s happened today.”

The death of George Floyd has led to protests across the globe. Credit: AP

Protests have raged across America in the wake of the death of Mr Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer pinned his neck down last week in Minneapolis.

The Black Lives Matter movement has extended across the US and beyond its borders as anger grows worldwide at police brutality, racism and inequality.