Many Americans are under the impression that Donald Trump has been a windfall for the United States economy, after all, just ask him. To be sure, however, one thing Trump is very good at is claiming responsibility for the things that are going right for the United States economy, but these claims don’t actually hold up to any rigorous scrutiny.
Let’s get to busting these claims…
CLAIM #1: “The Trump economy is better than the Obama economy, because it’s generating more jobs than Obama!“
ANALYSIS: As of the latest available job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for May 2018, a total of 3,225,000 net jobs have been created in the United States from January 2017 (yes, I’m giving Trump credit for the full month of January) for an average of 189,710 net jobs per month.
Over the course of Barack Obama’s second term in office, a total of 10,362,000 net jobs were created from January 2013 through December 2016 for an average of average of 215,875 net jobs per month. 215,875 net jobs per month is larger than 189,710 net jobs per month.
VERDICT: DEBUNKED. Month over month, net jobs created under Trump have conspicuously underperformed the net job numbers created during the Obama Administration, and Trump’s economy is on track to far underperform Obama’s economy in raw jobs created.
CLAIM #2: “The Trump economy is better than the Obama economy, because it’s creating higher GDP Growth!“
ANALYSIS: According to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average GDP growth rates for the 2017 was 2.6% and the GDP growth rate for the first quarter 2018 (the only quarter with available data) was 2.2%. The average for all five quarters under Trump was 2.52% GDP growth rate.
Under the Obama Administration, the average GDP growth rates were 2.675% in 2013 and 2.725% in 2014. The economy cooled moderately in the second half of 2015 and 2016, hitting 2.0% and 1.85% respectively. Overall, the average GDP growth rate for the four years of his second term was just over 2.31%, but the GDP growth rate for the first two years of Obama’s second term was 2.7%.
VERDICT: MIXED. While the 2.52% average GDP growth rate of the first 5 quarters under the Trump Administration have, in fact, been higher than the GDP growth rate of Obama’s entire second term average of 2.31%, it’s also lower than the 2.7% GDP growth rate of the first two years of Obama’s second term.
CLAIM #3: “The Trump economy is better than the Obama economy, because investors and 401Ks are making money in the stock market.“
ANALYSIS: From January 20th, 2017 through January 26th, 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial climbed steadily from an average share prices of $20,093.77 up to an average of $26,616.71. However, the insinuation is that Donald Trump had something to do with this continuous growth. Logically speaking, however, this claim is self refuting.
On January 29th, 2018, the stock market suffered its first major correction since the 2007-2009 recession, with stock values tumbling from $26,616.71 per share, all the way down to $23,860.46 per share. While the stock market has regained some of those losses, as of the publishing of this article, prices remain well below the highs of January 26th.
VERDICT: DEBUNKED. There isn’t any reason to get into the nitty-gritty of why the market has slumped, since the simple fact that the stock market has slumped while Trump is in office is evidence enough that Trump isn’t directly responsible for the gains in the market since 2017, because they would still be continuing if he were.
CLAIM #4: “The Trump economy is better than the Obama economy, because he’s putting more people back to work.“
ANALYSIS: This claim is based on rather nebulous events that have occurred recently but are difficult to represent statistically. Though Trump supporters happily point to certain companies bringing manufacturing operations back to the United States, they ignore that these moves require years of logistical planning that began years before Trump took office.
Further, as of May 2018, the labor force participation rate is actually worse than when Trump was sworn into office on January 20th. At that point, 62.9% of working age Americans were in the labor force. As of the most recent numbers, after almost a year and a half of Trump’s presidency, labor force participation rate has worsened to 62.7%.
VERDICT: DEBUNKED. While some industries are “doing better“, others aren’t, and the pool of working age Americans actively in the labor force has decreased as a share of all working age adults, and that number shows no sign of improvement, also resulting in an artificially low official unemployment number, failing to count millions of Americans in the equation.
Liberty is For The Win!