MANCHESTER, N.H. – As President Donald Trump takes the stage at his reelection rally here Monday and boasts of his economic record, there is one statistic he is likely to omit: He created 1.5 million fewer jobs in his first three years in office than predecessor Barack Obama did in his final three.
Newly revised figures from Trump’s own Department of Labor show that 6.6 million new jobs were created in the first 36 months of Trump’s tenure, compared with 8.1 million in the final 36 months of Obama’s ― a decline of 19% under Trump, according to a HuffPost analysis.
Economists say that the slowing of job creation is not surprising. There are fewer empty jobs and fewer unemployed people available to fill them as the economy gets closer to full employment.
“I’m not a big fan of jobs numbers as a metric of success,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, once the top economic adviser to the late Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He added, though, that Trump’s “hyperbole” notwithstanding, “the performance of the labor market has been nothing short of stunning.”
David Rothschild, an economist with Microsoft Research, said Trump is presiding over a decent job market ― the same as his Democratic predecessor did. “The economy is basically humming along for the last three years, just as it was for the last year several years of the Obama administration,” Rothschild said.
Nevertheless, the statistics belie Trump’s frequent claims that he turned around Obama’s poor management of the economy.
The White House would not respond to the new statistics, but spokesman Judd Deere told HuffPost: “President Obama presided over one of the slowest recoveries in history while President Trump has smashed expectations with 5 million more jobs grown than forecasted by the (Congressional Budget Office), a record setting stock market, strong wage growth for blue collar workers, and historically low unemployment rates. Because of the strength of the Trump economy more and more Americans are coming off the sidelines to find work many of whom were left out of the so-called Obama recovery.”