Trump tweets 303K job claim after report of 128K new jobs

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration proposes denying work permits to asylum-seekers who illegally cross border Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Harris lead Trump in Georgia: Poll Trump officials making changes to signature drug pricing proposal, Azar says MORE spurred confusion Friday after he tweeted about a "blowout" 303,000 jobs figure — minutes after an official government report said the economy added 128,000 jobs in October.

The estimate by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was good news for the administration, as its report on last month's job gains was far greater than the gain of roughly 85,000 jobs projected by economists.

ADVERTISEMENT
But it’s unclear how Trump calculated the vastly larger jobs gain, or where he obtained that analysis. 

In the Friday tweet hailing the report, Trump claimed the “blowout JOBS number” was actually a gain of 303,000 jobs if accounting for revisions and the temporary loss of jobs tied to the General Motors strike.

“Wow, a blowout JOBS number just out, adjusted for revisions and the General Motors strike, 303,000. This is far greater than expectations. USA ROCKS!” Trump tweeted

BLS revised the August and September job gains up by 95,000 workers, and most of the 42,000 auto manufacturing jobs frozen during the GM strike are likely resume in time for the November jobs report to be calculated.

White House spokesman Judd Deere told The Hill in an email that Trump’s figure also included an additional 18,000 GM workers not reflected in the BLS report, and 20,000 temporary Census workers who completed their work in October. 

Economists say Trump’s calculations do not paint an accurate picture of an already-strong labor market. 

“Those were wildly inaccurate,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief U.S. economist at audit and accounting firm RSM. “This is what we’d call ‘fake data.’”

Economists would not typically consider revisions to past jobs reports or the future return of striking workers to be part of a different month’s job gain. Accounting for the loss of 20,000 Census workers would double-count the initial addition of those workers to past jobs reports, as well.

Trump’s tweet about the jobs report also raised eyebrows because it violated the one-hour ban on White House commentary on sensitive economic data. Trump tweeted his praise for the report at 8:52 a.m., just more than 20 minutes after the jobs report was released.