- Vice President Mike Pence claimed on Fox News on Wednesday that the Trump administration had created “more jobs in the last three months than Joe Biden and Barack Obama created in their eight years in office.”
- Experts were quick to point out that Pence left out April, when the US lost 20.8 million jobs. The economy has since recovered just under half of those, or about 9 million.
- The economy under Obama’s two terms recorded a net total of 11.6 million job gains.
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During a Fox News interview on Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence claimed that the Trump administration had created more jobs in the past three months than President Barack Obama did in two terms.
The startling claim set off a swift backlash on Twitter.
Pence told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that President Donald Trump had led the country through “the worst pandemic in 100 years,” adding, “We’ve already created more jobs in the last three months than Joe Biden and Barack Obama created in their eight years in office.”
However, experts were quick to note that Pence left out April, when the US economy shed a record 20.8 million jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak. It has since recovered about 9 million of those, or just under half.
When April’s figure is included, the US is down 11.8 million jobs compared with immediately before the pandemic.
Betsey Stevenson, who was an economist in Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, shared a chart on Twitter illustrating the nation’s deep jobs hole.
— Betsey Stevenson (@BetseyStevenson) August 13, 2020
Other experts said the Trump administration had cherry-picked the economic data.
Alternatively phrased, we've lost more jobs in the last four months than we've lost over the entirety of any previous recession. https://t.co/unKKtWHXkP
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 13, 2020
Kind of like bragging about losing 20 pounds after you put on 50. https://t.co/PWcAG0x6B7
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) August 13, 2020
The July jobs report, released last week, said that the US regained 1.8 million jobs and that the unemployment rate stood at 10.2%, higher than at any point during the Great Recession over a decade ago. Pence included additional gains from June and May in his claim.
Here’s the latest jobs data going back to April:
- April: 20.8 million jobs lost.
- May: 2.7 million jobs regained.
- June: 4.8 million jobs regained.
- July: 1.8 million jobs regained.
Trump has pushed to reopen the economy since many states locked down in April, arguing that measures to contain the spread of the virus were more harmful than the virus itself.
Experts have said that the loosened restrictions and disastrous federal response set the stage for another surge in infections last month that led to more deaths and set the economic recovery back even further.
While presidents usually have limited influence over the economy, voters’ perception of its health can play a large role in who they cast their ballot for every four years.
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