Fact Check: Don Jr.’s Misleading Claims About Unemployment Rates
August 24, 2020
Donald Trump Jr. just claimed his father deserves credit for “the lowest ever unemployment rates ever for Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, women, and pretty much every other demographic group.” That’s not right. Here’s the truth about unemployment rates under his presidency.
FACT: Trump inherited a low and falling unemployment rate from the Obama-Biden administration.
New York Times: “When he bragged of the economy’s strength on Tuesday, Mr. Trump frequently cited ‘record’ low rates of unemployment and poverty, which are in part attributable to the low and falling rates he inherited from former President Barack Obama.”
FactCheck.org: “The unemployment rate, which was well below the historical norm when Trump took office, has continued to fall to the lowest rate in half a century. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the rate was 4.7% when he was sworn in.”
FACT: Black unemployment fell less than 2% in Trump’s first three years after declining by over 9% under Obama from its recession peak—and is now twice as high as when Obama and Biden left office.
Washington Post: “In follow-up interviews, many said former president Barack Obama deserves more credit for the improvement in the unemployment rate, which declined from a high of 16.8 percent in 2010 to 7.5 percent when he left office.”
Reuters: “The gap in the U.S. jobless rate between whites and Blacks widened for a third straight month in July, making the gulf between the races the widest in more than five years, Labor Department data released on Friday showed.”
FACT: After declining more than 7% under Obama, the Hispanic unemployment rate only declined by 1.6% in Trump’s first 3 years—and has since spiked to more than double the rate from when Trump took office.
FACT: Blacks, Hispanics, and women have been hit especially hard by Trump’s coronavirus recession.
Reuters: “Job losses during the coronavirus downturn have fallen hardest on Blacks, Hispanics and women, wiping out much of the gains they had enjoyed in the final leg of the expansion.”