The Washington Post lists 19 times that Donald Trump declared that the government unemployment numbers are fake. Starting in Sept 2012, when he called them “phony numbers”, and then a month later when he called them “a complete fraud”. In 2014, he said “Unemployment is a totally phony number.”
A year later Trump graced us with his own, personal numbers: “Our real unemployment is anywhere from 18 to 20 percent. Don’t believe the 5.6. Don’t believe it.” Just two months after that, his numbers doubled: “Then you hear there’s a 5.4 percent unemployment. It’s really — if you add it up, it’s probably 40 percent if you think about it.” Just over two weeks later, it had somehow gone up to 42 percent. He also said “It is not a real economy. It is a phony set of numbers. They cooked the books.”
In 2016 he gave a prescient pronouncement, saying “You hear a 5 percent unemployment rate. It’s such a phony number. That number was put in for presidents and for politicians so that they look good to the people.” and “The 5 percent figure is one of the biggest hoaxes in modern politics.” And finally in December, after he won the election he still maintained “The unemployment number, as you know, is totally fiction.” At the time, the unemployment rate was 4.8%.
But all that has changed. After Trump’s first full month in office, the US added 235,000 jobs, bringing unemployment down slightly to 4.7%. And Donald Trump is happy to take all the credit. At the news, he tweeted “GREAT AGAIN” and “Great news. We are only just beginning. Together, we are going to #MAGA!”, with a link to the jobs report.
I guess he believes in the jobs report now. I wonder what his response will be the next time unemployment goes up?