Donald Trump is fond of saying that he created over a million jobs in the first six months of his presidency.
Such language – “I’ve created over a million jobs since I’m president” – is a departure from most presidents who usually use phrases like “the economy has added X number of jobs” or “American businesses have added X number of jobs.” But when it comes to the Trumpster, it’s all about him.
Economic experts say it’s actually difficult to quantify how much a president can influence the job market.
Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution says it would be wrong to take Trump’s claim literally because American employers actually create jobs, not the president.
And, the trend of job creation in the U.S. over the past 7 years has not changed trajectory. In fact, the number of jobs added to the economy over the past six months lags behind the same time periods of the past few years.
From the Washington Post:
In the first six months of Trump’s presidency, there have been slightly more than 1 million jobs created, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But Burtless noted there’s been very little change in the trend in employment in the first six months of 2017, compared with the same period in the previous four years.
In fact, the gain in payroll employment in the January-through-July period was a bit slower in 2017 compared with the previous four years, whether measured as an absolute rise in the number of nonfarm payroll jobs or as a percentage of employment in January of the indicated year.
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
As you can see in the graphic above, the number of jobs added in the first half of this year is actually less than the same period in Obama’s last four years in office. Ironically, Trump criticized Obama for those very same numbers at the time.
The Washington Post goes on to say that Trump might have some foundation to base his boasts on if he had passed any major economic legislation, but the fact is Trump has little achievement to point to on the legislative front.