Trump Has Created 15 Million Fewer Jobs Than Obama
Job seekers. Photographer: Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg
The U.S. Department of Labor had two announcements in the past month that showed job growth under President Trump is weaker than expected. On August 21 it , which decreased its original job growth projection by 501,000 from April 2018 to March 2019.
The second was the monthly job report released on September 6 showing that only 130,000 jobs were created with June and Julys results decreasing by 15,000 and 5,000, respectively, for a net job gain of 110,000. The total was also helped by the Federal government hiring 25,000 people for the upcoming census, making net jobs added about 85,000.
Trumps job growth falls short of Obamas last three years
The Labor Departments revised job count lowered the April 2018 to March 2019 by 501,000. Assuming that the almost 42,000 per month lower number is spread evenly across the 12 months, Trumps 2018 total of 2.303 million jobs falls short of Obamas 2014 to 2016 results and essentially matches his 2.302 million for 2013. And 2018 was helped by Trumps tax cut sugar high.
- 2011 total: 2.075 million
A Timeline Of The Presidents Policies
Kimberly Amadeo is an expert on U.S. and world economies and investing, with over 20 years of experience in economic analysis and business strategy. She is the President of the economic website World Money Watch. As a writer for The Balance, Kimberly provides insight on the state of the present-day economy, as well as past events that have had a lasting impact.
Donald Trump promised to be the greatest job-producing president in U.S. history. During his 2016 campaign, he pledged to create 25 million jobs in the next 10 years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 3.1 million fewer jobs in December 2020 than in January 2017 when Trump took office.
If Donald Trump had been able to keep his campaign promise, he would have beaten the current record-holder, President Bill Clinton, who during his two terms.
To create those jobs, Trump told the Economic Club of New York he wanted to establish a national goal of 4% economic growth. Lets look at the details of his policies and how theyve worked during his term.
President Donald Trump Loves To Talk About Creating Jobs And Now Has More Than A Million Jobs To Point To
With , employers have added a total of 1,074,000 jobs during Trump’s first six full months in office.
That essentially matches the 1,084,000 jobs created during President Barack Obama’s last six months in office. Both round to 1.1 million, and the 10,000 difference is well within the margin of error of the Labor Department estimate.
Of course, Trump’s six-month record is far better than Obama’s first six months, when 3.4 million jobs were lost. That’s because Obama was sworn in during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, when the economy was hemorrhaging jobs.
At full employment, businesses have an extremely difficult time finding available, qualified workers to fill job openings.
In fact, if Obama left a problem for Trump, it wasn’t that the economy was too weak — it was that the labor market was almost too strong. Employers may well be hiring faster if they weren’t having so much trouble finding the workers they need.
The most recent Labor Department data shows there were 5.7 million unfilled job openings — close to the record number since it started keeping track in 2000.
The odds have become much better for people looking for work. Nearly twice as many people are quitting jobs as are being laid off or fired — a sign of a strong labor market.
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End Outsourcing And Bring Back Jobs From Overseas
America lost 31.4% of its manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2011 these were steady jobs that, on average, paid $28.85 per hour.
U.S. companies outsourced many of these jobs to save money. But robotics, artificial intelligence, and bio-engineering also made some jobs obsolete, so ending outsourcing may not bring back all the jobs that were lost. Its possible that government-sponsored training for these specialties might create more jobs for U.S. workers than a trade war.
Has Pennsylvania Added Thousands Of Manufacturing Jobs Since Trump Took Office
If Your Time is short
- Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows slow, steady growth in jobs across Pennsylvania since January 2017 when Trump took office. But the growth hasnt been as robust as Pence made it seem.
- There were 6,105,806 jobs in Pennsylvania the month Trump was inaugurated, the data show, compared to 6,249,391 jobs in February of 2020 just before the coronavirus pandemic sent the economy into a tailspin.
- The number of jobs recorded in June the most recent month for when data was available when Pences office made the statement shows a net loss of almost 600,000 since Trump took office.
The day before he toured a chemical company in southwestern Pennsylvania, Vice President Mike Pence touted the jobs growth that had taken place across the state since President Donald Trump took office.
As a candidate, Trump vowed to revive manufacturing, and a July 29 email from the Office of the Vice President says:
The Trump administrations pro-growth policies added over 209,000 jobs, including 16,000 new manufacturing jobs, to Pennsylvania the last three years.
We wondered whether the Trump administration had created as many jobs as it claimed.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows slow, steady growth in jobs across Pennsylvania since January 2017 when Trump took office. But the growth hasnt been as robust as Pence made it seem.
But those gains have evaporated and then some.
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Performance Versus Obamas Baseline Is What Matters
A more useful way to quantify Obama vs. Trump economically would be to see how Trumps economic results compare to Obamas baseline. When Obama left office the Congressional Budget Office released a whole host of estimates on how various economic indicators would perform into the future if Obamas policies were left unchanged.
And to little surprise, Trumps economy is outperforming the hypothetical economy the CBO envisioned for an Obama third term. Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett outlined as much in a September 2018 speech debunking the notion that the Trump economy was merely a continuation of Obamas. To summarize many of the metrics where Trump is performing above trend:
- Entrepreneurship is great again, with over 150,000 more business applications being filed each quarter over trend.
- Investment in small businesses is $300 billion higher than we wouldve seen had the trend Obama set continued .
- Blue collar employment wouldve declined had it continued its Obama-era trend. Instead, its grown and broken that trend Obama set. Blue collar employment is growing at the fastest rate since 1984.
- And as the economy booms, not only are the unemployed finding work, those who previously gave up looking for work are reentering the labor force. As they enter the labor force, theyre easily finding jobs, since there are more job openings today than unemployed people.
The Claim: Joe Biden Added More Jobs In A Single Month Than Donald Trump Netted During His Entire Term
Americans compare presidents all the time. But a post on social media claims one difference between President Joe Biden and his predecessor is particularly stark.
MAJOR BREAKING: Biden adds 943k jobs more jobs in a single month than Trump netted during his ENTIRE TERM. Are you glad Biden is President? reads an .
The post was shared more than 12,000 times in about a week.
Strictly looking at the numbers, the claim is accurate. But experts say comparing one presidents good month to four years of fluctuating job numbers is misleading.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the claim for comment.
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How President Trump Measures Up On Jobs In 6 Charts
Last January, President Trump attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and gave a speech previewing his pitch for reelection this fall. Speaking to the assembled crowd of global elites, Trump made the highly dubious claim that the economy he had inherited from President Obama was in a dismal state, despite the fact that the U.S. had produced 76 straight months of job growth when Trump was sworn in. And with signature bombast, the President played his, well, Trump card. The U.S., he boasted, was in the midst of an economic boom the likes of which the world has never seen before.
It was debatable assertion, given that economic growth had averaged a solid-but-not-scintillating 2.5% over Trumps first three years in office. But the stock market was hitting record highs, and unemployment was at a historic low of 3.6%. Campaigning on his economic expertise seemed like a no-brainer for Trump.
Then came COVID-19.
Just weeks after Trumps address in Davos, the novel coronavirus was declared to be a global pandemic. And while the U.S. scrambled to respond to a spiraling health crisis, the economy went into free fall. Some 22 million jobs were lost in the U.S. in March and April as businesses went into shutdown, and the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7%the worst since the Great Depression.
A version of this article appears in the of Fortune with the headline, How Trump measures up on jobs.
Richard Nixon : 94 Million
President Nixon added 9.4 million jobs to the 76.7 million workers at the end of the Johnson administration. That’s a 12.2% increase.
He initially presided over a growing economy. Americans celebrated by importing more goods. As they paid in dollars, foreigners started redeeming them for gold. In 1973, Nixon ended the gold standard entirely. Gold prices rose to nearly $60 an ounce by mid-1972 and $90 an ounce by early 1973. No longer tethered to the price of gold, the value of the dollar plummeted, triggering inflation.
Nixon won re-election in 1972. But his actions led to the 1973-1975 recession coupled with double-digit inflation.
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Tax Cut And Jobs Act Deregulation And National Debt
Even before the virus further exacerbated U.S. income inequality, some experts say Trumps economic policies favored the wealthy — and left the poor and middle class behind.
His Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017 provided major tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals. The policy, among other things, reduced the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%.
Frankel called the policy “beyond ironic” for a president “who campaigned in 2016 on being the champion of the working man or working person and campaigned on ‘draining the swamp’ in Washington.”
Shierholz said this policy “absolutely increased inequality” and the “vast majority of the benefits of those tax cuts went to the already very wealthy.”
The economists also noted that the policy came at a time when unemployment was relatively low and the economy in good shape.
“That’s not the time to be giving away trillions of dollars to the wealthy,” Frankel said. “When you have a bad shock like the global financial crisis of 2008-09 or like the coronavirus crisis that we’re still going through — that’s the time to increase government spending and expansionary fiscal policy, but you lose the ability to do that if you gave it away.”
NYU’s Bowmaker noted that some “can make the case that the corporate tax rate was a little bit too high” and would welcome the tax cuts.
Despite his goal, the debt has ballooned under Trump. The total national debt has skyrocketed by more than $7 trillion during Trumps tenure.
Dwight Eisenhower : 48 Million
President Eisenhower added 4.8 million jobs, a 7.9% increase. He increased the debt by 8.6%, or $22.9 billion as he fought two recessions. The end of the Korean War caused the 1953 recession, and higher interest rates caused the 1957 recession.
Part of Eisenhower’s success with job creation was due to his creation of the Interstate Highway System. He spent $25 billion to build 41,000 miles of road.
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National Association Of Manufacturers
The National Association of Manufacturers had agreed with Trump’s plan to lower U.S. manufacturing costs, which are significantly higher than in other countries. NAM wanted Trump to further reduce regulations on manufacturing companies, as it pays nearly twice what companies in other industries do. This raises the price of American-made goods.
On the other hand, NAM disagreed with Trump’s protectionism. Other countries raise tariffs in return, which reduced American exports to those countries, even prior to the pandemic. It put a brake on U.S. growth and raised import prices for American consumers.
White House Falsely Claims Trump Has Created More Jobs For Black Americans Than Obama Did
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said the economy added only 195,000 jobs for African-Americans under President Barack Obama. In fact, it added about three million.
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This president, since he took office, in the year and a half that hes been here, has created 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans. Thats 700,000 African-Americans that are working now that werent working when this president took place. When President Obama left after eight years in office eight years in office he had only created 195,000 jobs for African-Americans. President Trump, in his first year and a half, has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, at a White House news briefing on Tuesday
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Trade War ‘disaster’ With China
Trade policy is where the president wields the most economic power, as Congress has over the years delegated negotiating authority to the presidents office, according to Menzie Chinn, professor of public affairs and economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Chinn documented the trade war saga on his macroeconomic policy blog Econbrowser.
Trump exercised this power almost immediately during his first years in office and even went so far as to use national security as a basis for trade barriers with China — something that no president has done in recent times.
Ultimately, the tit-for-tat trade war that Trump waged with China was lost by the U.S., economists say, and data on trade deficits confirm.
Trumps dramatic trade war upended decades of policy, and kicked off with failed meetings with Chinese leaders in 2017. After the talks disintegrated, Trump initiated the trade war by imposing tariffs on all imported washing machines and solar panels in early 2018. He then announced 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminum. China retaliated with tariffs of up to 25% on more than 100 U.S. products including soybeans and airplanes. The sporadic, retaliatory trade-off battles waged on for years, and dragged other countries that were trying to remain competitive in as well.
By the end of his term, the trade deficit will be larger in absolute terms than it was when he came to office, Chinn told ABC News.
Obamas Last Three Years Of Job Growth All Beat Trumps Best Year
Job seekers. Photographer: Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg
The U.S. Department of Labor released the January jobs report that showed better than expected growth of 225,000 new jobs vs. the consensus of 158,000. However, there were detailed updates with a major revision to 2018s employment numbers, which substantially decreased job growth under President Trump.
Far from being the Best economy ever
Trump continually says that, the U.S. is experiencing the best economy ever. This is obvious gaslighting since the new results show that President Trumps best year of job growth was 2.314 million in 2018 but it falls short of any of Obamas last three years. His boasts also dont stand up when you peel the onion on GDP growth and realize that the Federal deficits during his Presidency will exceed any that were not impacted by a recession.
U.S President Donald Trump. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
The previous and updated job growth yearly totals for Obamas last six years in office after the Great Recession and Trumps first three years, along with the revisions, are:
- 2011: 2.075 million fell to 2.074 million, down 1,000 jobs
- 2012: 2.174 million fell to 2.176 million, up 2,000 jobs
- 2013: 2.302 million fell to 2.301 million, down 1,000 jobs
- 2014: 3.006 million fell to 3.004 million, down 2,000 jobs
- 2015: 2.729 million fell to 2.72 million, down 9,000 jobs
- 2016: 2.318 million increased to 2.345 million, up 27,000 jobs
US President Barack Obama.
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Trump Vs Obama: Who Created More Jobs In Their First Terms
Contrary to President Trumps frequent claims of the best economy ever, his best year for job growth fell below his predecessors last years in office. In fact, Trump will become the first president since World War II to lose jobs.
The U.S. saw some of its strongest job gains during the middle of President Obamas second term in 2014 and 2015 when more than 225,000 new jobs were being added every month. The employment growth continued under Trump until March 2020, when the coronavirus began to impact the country and the unemployment rate soon approached a staggering 15%.
Trumps tax cut triggered his best year for new jobs in 2018. The presidents average monthly job gains would peak strongly at 193,000 before devastation from the pandemic destroyed a decades worth of growth fostered largely under Obama. Five months after the first U.S. cases of COVID-19 were reported, fewer than half of those newer jobs had returned.
Trump has often touted his lower unemployment numbers, which fell to 3.5% in late 2019. The fewer job losses sustained through early 2020, in keeping with a trend that began during Obamas first term. The unemployment numbers had already stood at 4.7% before Trump was sworn in. In August, the rate stabilized at a still high, but not unprecedented, 8.4%.
Trump’s presidency, which ends on Jan. 20, is expected to close on a poor note, as the economy lost 140,000 jobs in December and the year-end economy was short roughly 4 million jobs.