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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?



  1. Jonah wrote:

    The trump admin will likely change how unemployment is calculated similar to what they are mulling for the trade deficit

    or they will blame the fed for increasing rates too slow or fast.

    or they will blame the dems

    They have also tied the stock market to how good of a job the trump admin is doing

    It will be interesting to see what mnuchin says if there is a crash. Interestingly Mnuchin is having trouble filling up treasury posts. Apparently they have to be loyal to the master

    Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 3:57 am | Permalink
  2. BTN wrote:

    Donald Trump’s taek (from Spicer):
    “They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”

    I’d rather have this be his new position thatn to just ignore it, because it gives more credibilty to the numbers. It will also be harder for Trump when the numbers go south again.

    Also, the main reason that Trump supporters beleived that the numbers were fake is becuase it didn’t match their experience in their mostly rural, working-class communities. Regardless of waht Trump says, they will still trust their expereince over anything else. Right now, a lot of them are thinking, “Great, employment is already getting better under Trump!. Can’t wait for it to improve where I’m at.”

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink