In the wee hours of Monday morning, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to make the dubious claim that GDP was higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in 100 years.
The GDP Rate (4.2%) is higher than the Unemployment Rate (3.9%) for the first time in over 100 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2018
Surprising exactly nobody, it turns out that claim is not true.
In fact, the GDP has surpassed the unemployment rate 185 times since 1948, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
An analysis in the New York Times on Monday identified recent instances in which GDP was higher than unemployment.
Fact Check: President Trump falsely claimed GDP growth is higher than unemployment "for the first time in 100 years." It has actually happened at least 185 times in the past century. https://t.co/UQqdDuvtlF
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 10, 2018
“Most recently, in the first quarter of 2006, the gross domestic product grew at a rate of 5.4 percent,” the Times writes, “while the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in January, 4.8 percent in February and 4.7 percent in March.”
In September 1950, the Times notes, GDP surged to 16.9 percent, while unemployment was at 4.4 percent, which is the largest positive gap ever achieved. And in Q2 1978, GDP reached 16.4 percent as unemployment held at 5.77 percent.
Fox News helpfully tweeted this factcheck:
Since 1948, there have been 63 quarters with a GDP growth rate higher than avg quarterly unemployment rate
Recent Quarters with GDP Growth higher than Unemployment Rate:
•Q2 1996 https://t.co/xc873PMf6K
— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) September 10, 2018
Which had people howling:
Don’t let your boss see this!!!!!! You’re fact checking him!
— J S-H (@minardiforever) September 10, 2018
Hell hath frozen over.
— Grandma Muses ☘️ (@GrandmaMuses) September 10, 2018
Others on Twitter dragged the president for making such an obviously false claim.
In the last several decades, GDP has been higher than unemployment dozens of times. “Close enough?” Definitely not.
This has happened 64 times in the past 70 years.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 10, 2018
Yeah, but 64 of the past 70 years have been once in a century type years.
— Mark Hampton (@MarkHamptonHK) September 10, 2018
This happened in 1941, 42, 43, 44, 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 59, 62, 64, 65, 66, 68, 72, 73, 98, 99, and 2000.
So yeah, it’s the 22nd time in 79 years, not the first time in 100 years, but close enough.
— Jonathan Skolnick (@jonskolnick) September 10, 2018
“Why you gotta lie all the time?”
You are an outright liar.
A psychotic pathological liar.
trump lives in a fake world, with fake facts, makes up lies & says only what will make him look good. The only place this fake world exist is in his head. trump is pure evil & a liar. All detrimental for us & USA.#VoteDem
— S Turner #VoteBlue #KhashoggiMurder #GOPcorruption (@sandyturner01) September 10, 2018
He doesn’t cite sources because a lie can’t be proven.