FACT CHECK: Does The US Have The ‘Highest Employment Numbers We’ve Ever Had’?
President Donald Trump claimed that the U.S. has the “highest employment numbers we’ve ever had in the history of our country” during a Tuesday press conference.
Trump made this claim in response to a reporter’s question of whether he thought he missed a “critical opportunity to help bring the country together.”
Data for the past seven decades from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) disproves Trump’s claim that “employment numbers” are at the highest level.
Due to the vagueness of “employment numbers,” The Daily Caller News Foundation evaluated Trump’s claim using numerous employment-related economic statistics.
The unemployment rate as of July 2017 is 4.3 percent. This is not a historical low according to BLS data, which goes back to 1948. The unemployment rate’s lowest point “ever,” as far as the data show, is 2.5 percent in June 1953. The July unemployment rate is not even at its lowest in the past 20 years, which occurred in April 2000 at 3.8 percent.
Trump’s claim does not hold up to BLS data on the labor force participation rate either. 62.9 percent of America’s labor force is employed or actively seeking employment as of July 2017. BLS data show that the labor force participation rate was its seven-decade-highest at 67.3 percent during the first four months of 2000.
The July 2017 employment population ratio of Americans between ages 25 and 54 at 78.7 percent is not at its highest “ever” either. BLS data since 1948 instead show that the employment population ratio peaked at 81.9 percent back in April 2000.
The only employment number that is at its highest “ever” is the nominal number of employed persons in the U.S. As of July 2017, over 153.5 million Americans were employed. The statistic, however, does not say much about the current state of the economy or employment creation. Unlike proportional statistics, like the unemployment rate, that are measured in percentage terms, the number of employed persons is a nominal measure that is influenced as much by raw population size and population growth than actual job creation.
The unemployment rate and employment-population ratio are both at their best for the seven months Trump has been in office, but Trump’s claim that the U.S. has “the highest employment numbers we’ve ever had in the history of our country” does not hold up to the facts.
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