Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump trade data proposal defies common sense, honest accounting Will CPAC denounce Putin's war against democracy? Acting FTC chairwoman targets occupational licensing regulations MORE claimed in a new interview that the nation’s “real unemployment rate” was 42 percent.
In an interview with Time, the GOP front-runner apparently argued that the nation’s jobless rate should be measured based on the entire adult population, not just adults who want to work.
Trump’s method of measuring unemployment is not the most common.
The most commonly accepted way to measure the unemployment rate, the one used by the Labor Department, looks at people who do not have a job, are able to work and have actively looked for work in the past month. Under that metric, the unemployment rate was recorded at 5.3 percent in July.
Trump dismissed that measurement in his interview.
“It’s not 6. I’s [sic] not 5.2 and 5.5,” he said.
There are other ways to measure the jobless rate. Another Labor Department measurement takes into account people who are working part-time but would prefer full-time employment, and people who want to work but have given up looking. In July, the Labor Department reported this rate to be 10.4 percent.
Under Trump’s apparent method, the entire adult U.S. population would be considered potential members of the workforce. But using that ratio would include a host of people who do not work and have no intention of working. That would include full-time students, full-time parents and retirees.
Trump made his unemployment claim while arguing that his immigration plan, which calls for the mass deportation of all workers in the country illegally. Critics of the plan have argued such an approach would carry a significant economic hit, because a number of industries across the country rely on a significant population of undocumented immigrants to fill out their workforce.
Trump argued his approach would provide more opportunities to Americans, and allow hard-working immigrants the chance to return.
“We have a lot of people who want to work. But the good people I want them to come back,” he said.