Not a jobs truther anymore: Trump, Republicans gloat about jobs numbers he used to deride

The Republicans are being very selective about which government information to trust and which not to

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 10, 2017 3:45PM (EST)

 (Getty/Gary Gershoff)
(Getty/Gary Gershoff)

Even as President Donald Trump and other Republicans are trying to discredit the Congressional Budget Office for not telling them what they want to hear about their Obamacare repeal plan, they are exulting over the favorable job report provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet they cast doubt on similar numbers when they were announced under President Barack Obama.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics press office, employment increased by 235,000 in February, and the unemployment ticked down slightly, from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent.

Not surprisingly, President Trump gloated about the figures.

Last year, Trump tried to downplay the Labor Department's credibility when it announced comparably healthy numbers for Obama.

"The number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent," Trump said at the time.

Although this is the first report to be issued that covers a period entirely within the confines of Trump's own presidency, it is too early for his own policies to have caused the beneficial results. By contrast, Obama had been in office for roughly seven years when he posted the stronger numbers that Trump insisted were a "hoax."

The president isn't alone among Republicans in applying a double-standard to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the powerful Ways and Means committee, complained last year that "it's disappointing to see so little growth in full time work and wages" when 242,000 jobs were added to the economy.

Responding to this report, which featured fewer jobs created than last year, Brady said, "the fact that hundreds of thousands more people found new jobs last month is a good sign that our economy is moving in the right direction."


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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