Big League Inflation of Job Numbers

President Trump this morning, while speaking to a gathering of CEOs, falsely claimed responsibility for the creation of 600,000 jobs in his first 100 days:

“You see what’s going on,” Trump asserted. “You see the numbers. We’ve created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time, and it’s gonna really start catching on now because some of the things that we’ve done are big league, and they are catching on. Already, we’ve created more than almost 600,000 jobs.”

It’s unclear what “more than almost 600,000 jobs” means and it’s equally unclear where the President is getting his data.

MarketWatch’s Jeffry Bartash puts the number much closer to 317,000 and argues that presidents often falsely claim credit for job growth: “The idea of attributing job creation to presidents, of course, is ultimately a fool’s errand even though it’a time-honored tradition for administrations to take credit in good times. Presidents don’t directly create jobs unless they hire more government workers.”

Donald Trump has a remarkable record of inflating good news and ignoring bad news so whenever he chooses to share data that might reflect positively on his administration, it’s always worth looking a bit more closely.

The sad thing is, the job numbers since January 20 are actually solid and don’t need the kind of inflation that can ultimately hurt his credibility.