Even Before COVID-19 Trump Did No Better On Economy Than Obama

L-R Former President Barack Obama, Donald Trump

Trump and his followers often tout the stock market and unemployment under Trump as “the best economy in the history of the world.”

But crunching the numbers from the final three years of the Obama administration and the first three years of Trump’s time in office – which leaves out the devastation of the current pandemic on the US economy – the data shows Trump is not better on economic issues than his predecessor.

I recently came across a report from USA Today comparing the economic records of Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

From USA Today:

• Employment: According to the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the economy created 6,979,000 jobs during Obama’s final three years in office. In Trump’s first three years through this past January, the economy added 6,585,000 jobs to a total of 158,714,000. That’s 394,000 fewer under Trump than under Obama during a similar time span.

• Economic growth: During Obama’s final three years, the economy (inflation-adjusted gross domestic product) grew 2.5% in 2014, 3.1% in 2015 and 1.7% in 2016, or an average of 2.43%, according to figures from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. Under Trump, the economy grew 2.3% in 2017, 3.0% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2019, for an average of 2.5% a year –  just below one-tenth of a percent per year under Trump, who came into office promising to produce an economy that would sprint ahead at a 4% annual pace or even higher.

• Wage growth: During Obama’s final three years in office through January 2017, hourly earnings adjusted for inflation grew 3.3%, according to BLS figures. During Trump’s first three years, inflation-adjusted hourly earnings grew an identical 3.2%.

• Stock market: During Trump’s presidency, the S&P 500 climbed 50.4%, from a close of 2,271.31 on Jan. 20, 2017, when he was inaugurated, to 3,4433.12 today. Under Obama, the S&P 500, which was 805.22 on Jan. 20, 2009, grew 182% during his presidency. During his second term, it grew 52% (from 1,492.56 on Jan. 22, 2013).

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