“Companies are moving back, creating job growth the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time,” President Donald Trump said in September. Trump habitually claims the American economy is setting records and experiencing historic job growth, but the numbers don’t exactly support his assertions.
Trump appears to be attempting to take credit for his predecessor’s economic record. Not so fast.
As the chart above indicates, the economy has been steadily expanding since 2010, thanks in large part to a stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Before then, the economy was hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of jobs per month following the collapse of the housing and stock markets in 2008.
Friday’s monthly jobs report, for example, showed strong growth in June, with 213,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate ticking up from 3.8 percent to 4 percent from more people having entered the labor force.
That won’t stop him from taking all the credit. pic.twitter.com/Iw5sVyfLps
— Joshua Brehse (@JBrehse) July 6, 2018
Trump took office in January 2017, and while growth has been more or less steady in the year and a half he’s been in office, more jobs were added each month in Obama’s second term than in Trump’s first, on average.
“The average monthly gain under Trump is 181,000 jobs,” FactCheck.org wrote in April, “which is nearly 17 percent below the monthly average of 217,000 during Obama’s second term.”
Demonstrates that Trump inherited a growing economy, and any argument that he "fixed" or "improved" anything is complete BS.
— Brando (@Brandossius) July 6, 2018
This slowdown in job creation is due, in part, to fewer people looking for work. Another contributing factor is the record number of open job positions – 6.7 million as of April – and a lack of qualified workers to fill them.
Job growth has slowed under Trump.
Last 18 months: 3.48 million jobs
Previous 18 months: 3.7 million jobs
— John Dusek (@jdusek) July 6, 2018
The skills gap is especially notable in the technology sector. Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute at the National Association of Manufacturers, said in February that by 2025, there will be 3.5 million jobs in technology and manufacturing that will need to be filled. She estimates as many as two million of those positions may go unfilled because of retiring baby boomers and a shortage of trained workers.
“We are definitely not producing enough workers to fill those jobs,” Lee said.
Automation is also projected to displace a substantial percentage of the global workforce – up to 800 million workers in the next few dozen years, according to a McKinsey & Co. forecast issued last November.