FACT CHECK: ‘We Are In The Midst Of The Longest Positive Job Growth Streak In History’

David Sivak | Fact Check Editor

UPDATE: The economy added 157,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said Friday, extending the current jobs streak to 94 months and sending the unemployment rate to 3.9 percent.

President Donald Trump said that the economy is experiencing the longest period of sustained job growth in history.

Verdict: True

Employment has grown for 93 consecutive months, beating out the previous record of 48 months.

Fact Check:

Trump recently delivered remarks on the South Lawn of the White House to announce that the economy grew 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

“And I will say this right now, and I’ll say it strongly: As the trade deals come in one by one, we’re going to go a lot higher than these numbers. And these are great numbers,” he said.

He took the opportunity to tout the strength of the economy, rattling off a series of claims about the job market.

The president frequently mentions that unemployment has reached record lows for black, Latino and – in May – Asian Americans. This time, Trump threw out another claim: “We are in the midst of the longest positive job growth streak in history,” he said.

He repeated the claim Tuesday at a campaign rally in Tampa, Fla.

Trump is correct. The economy has added jobs every month since October 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is, by far, the longest expansion since the agency started tracking monthly data in 1939.

These figures can be slightly deceptive because the job market may undergo an expansion that gets interrupted by a sporadic month where the jobs numbers turn negative; for example, if it hadn’t been for a single negative month of employment in June 1986, the 33-month stretch from 1983 to 1986 would have lasted for 82 months.

Over 18 million jobs have been added over the latest streak, 3.5 million of which were created under Trump.

Employment returned to pre-recession levels in May 2014, but accounting for population growth, it wasn’t until July 2017 that the economy had made up all lost ground.

“It is only in the last year that we have been getting a real bonus compared to before the recession,” Jennifer Hunt, an economics professor at Rutgers University, told The Daily Caller.

The next jobs report comes out on Aug. 3, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimate that 190,000 jobs were created in July.

The current expansion is notable for how long it has lasted, but in terms of how quickly jobs have been added, it ranks among the slowest job streaks in the modern era.

The economy has averaged 199,000 jobs a month for the last 93 months; by comparison, a 45-month streak in the 1970s averaged 288,000 jobs a month at a time when the job market was roughly 40 percent smaller.

Nonetheless, the current labor market remains strong. Unemployment has dropped to 4 percent, down from a high of 10 percent.

And the labor force participation rate – the share of working-age people who are employed – remains flat. This is actually positive news. Baby boomers are retiring in large numbers, so a flat participation rate means prime-age Americans are participating in greater numbers.

The Federal Reserve projects that unemployment will drop to 3.5 percent by 2019.

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018

David Sivak

Fact Check Editor

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