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Trump’s Real Record on Unemployment in Two Graphs

Donald Trump and his supporters routinely boast about his great success in reducing the unemployment rate. While the unemployment rate did fall to low levels under Trump, this was just a continuation of the downward trend that had been in place under Obama since 2010.

Here’s the picture with the overall unemployment rate.

See the sharp drop for the Trump years? Yeah, I don’t either. By the way, I am being very polite in leaving out the impact of the pandemic, which would show unemployment soaring. That has not happened in most other countries because their leaders were better able to deal with the pandemic and the economy.

Here’s the picture for the Black unemployment rate since Trump apparently thinks his administration has been great for Blacks.

We see the same story here as with the overall unemployment rate, the continuation of a downward trend, albeit at a slower pace, than had been going on for years. Trump can take credit for not crashing the economy, until the pandemic, but that really is not all that much to boast about.

This article first appeared on Dean Baker’s Beat the Press blog.

Dean Baker is the senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. 

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