OPTIMISTS can hold their heads up high. The “V-shaped” recovery has begun.

The Granite State regained nearly 25,000 new jobs in May, pushing our unemployment rate down by 2.6 percentage points. That’s far and away the biggest single-month improvement we’ve experienced since such records have been kept.

While the New Hampshire economy still needs more time to fully recover from the devastating coronavirus pandemic, the May employment figures come as a pleasant surprise to most local workers, who had been told to expect the artificial economic contraction to be much more severe and longer-lasting. Indeed, the experts had predicted that May would bring further economic pain, but instead it was the turning point we’ve been waiting for.

New Hampshire isn’t the only state regaining economic footing right now, either. While economists expected the U.S. economy to lose more than 7 million jobs in May, the country actually gained 2.5 million jobs — an all-time record for a single month.

This is the beginning of the “V-shaped” recovery that optimists have been talking about — and of the Great American Comeback that our president promised at the very beginning of the artificial downturn.

“I think we’re going to have a rebound like we have never seen before,” President Donald Trump said in late March. “Even now [the economy] wants to rebound. You can see it, feel it.”

Trump knows a thing or two about what economic recoveries feel like. Thanks to his common sense economic policies, especially middle-income tax cuts and his elimination of job-killing regulations, our country finally regained its strut after enduring the slowest economic recovery since World War II under the Obama-Biden administration. The record-setting prosperity we were enjoying at the time the coronavirus pandemic started has given us a solid foundation for a record-setting recovery.

Of course, the Trump administration’s bold emergency initiatives played a big role in setting us up for success, as well, providing workers and businesses with the support they needed to make it through the crisis.

Thanks to the innovative Paycheck Protection Program, more than 23,000 New Hampshire businesses were able to receive forgivable federal loans worth about $2.5 billion. These loans became a lifeline for employers, allowing them to avoid bankruptcy during the pandemic, as well as a safety net for workers who would have otherwise been laid off.

The CARES Act also provided direct relief payments of up to $1,200 to every adult, with additional benefits for families with children that brought the total relief payment to $3,400 for a typical family of four. Those who did find themselves out of work because of the virus, meanwhile, have been eligible to receive up to $600 per week in additional unemployment benefits.

New Hampshire is at the beginning of the much-ballyhooed “V-shaped” recovery, and it’s easy to see why. By protecting our workers and businesses from ruin while maintaining a solid foundation for economic growth, President Trump set the stage for the greatest resurgence our country has ever seen.

Lou Gargiulo, who served two terms as a member of the N.H. House of Representatives, lives in Hampton Falls.

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