FACT CHECK: 4 Claims From Trump’s Michigan Rally

Emily Larsen | Fact Check Reporter

President Donald Trump made several claims about the state of the economy, his popularity and his accomplishments since taking office during his rally in Macomb County, Michigan, Saturday night.

Here are four checks on his claims.

Claim 1: “Since the election, we’ve created more than 3 million jobs, including 300,000 new jobs in manufacturing.”

Fact Check: Trump’s figures are accurate. About 3 million jobs have been added to the economy since the election. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that there were 145 million nonfarm employees in November 2016 and preliminary numbers count 148 million in March 2018.

There were close to 300,000 new jobs added in the manufacturing sector since the election. Preliminary BLS data for March 2018 shows an increase of about 293,000 manufacturing jobs since November 2016.

March marked the 90th consecutive month of job growth – the longest streak on record.

Claim 2: “Wages for the first time are rising at the fastest pace in many, many years – 18, 19, 20 years.”

Fact Check: Trump overstated how fast wages are rising. Annual wage growth – the change in the median hourly wage over 12 months – reached 2.8 percent in September, the highest since 2009. But data from Federal Reserve of Economic Data shows that wage growth dipped to 2.7 percent in March.

Wages are not rising faster than they did two decades ago. The Atlanta Fed, which tracks wage growth over three months rather than 12, shows that wage growth was higher for nearly all of 1997 through 2008.

Many economists say that annual wage growth of 3 percent to 4 percent should be the target.

Claim 3: “Essentially, we are getting rid of Obamacare. Some people would say essentially, we’ve gotten rid of it.”

Fact Check: The tax reform bill enacted in December repealed the individual mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act, which required individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Trump frequently says that eliminating the provision “essentially” repeals the healthcare law, but all the other Obamacare requirements remain intact.

Among other provisions, Obamacare still requires insurance plans to cover people with pre-existing conditions and services such as maternity care and addiction treatment. Many experts worry that the elimination of the individual mandate will cripple the program and cause insurers to exit government health care exchanges.

Claim 4: “We’re higher now than we were on Election Day. We’re higher now. Because now, people are seeing the results. It’s actually easier.”

Fact Check: RealClearPolitics’ poll average of Trump’s favorable and unfavorable ratings shows that his favorable rating is slightly higher now than it was on Election Day.

His average favorable rating was 37.5 percent on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016. The Thursday before his rally in Michigan, April 26, it was 39.1 percent. Trump’s most recent favorable rating is slightly lower than it was the day of his inauguration, when it averaged 41.8 percent.

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Emily Larsen

Fact Check Reporter