Claiming he has created 3 million jobs since his election, President Donald Trump touted his record of job growth to a cheering crowd Monday at a Florida rally.
By itself, the number sounds impressive. But a closer look at the numbers shows that, on Trump’s watch, the pace of U.S. job growth slowed since he was elected in November 2016.
Trump praised the strength of the economy Monday in a predominantly Latino Miami suburb, telling the audience the country is “starting to really rock” with businesses coming back to the country and corporations facing fewer regulations.
Trump was joined by local business owners in the Miami area and members of his Cabinet, underscoring the importance of the tax law and the business climate to Republicans’ midterm election hopes. Florida has long been one of the nation’s campaign battlegrounds and will be among several states contested by both parties in the fight to control Congress.
As he has in past public appearances, Trump said he took special pride in the drop in the jobless rates for Hispanics and African Americans which, after the third longest economic recovery on record, have fallen to historic lows.
“For African Americans, (unemployment is at) the lowest level ever recorded,” Trump told the cheering crowd. “And I’m really proud of that.”
Like all demographic groups, African American and Hispanic workers have benefited from tighter labor markets that accompany the latter stages of the recovery. But unemployment among those two groups remains stubbornly higher than the average level for all workers.
And while the rates for those two groups are near the lowest levels since the data series began in 1972, they remain roughly at levels seen at the low point reached during the height of the last economic expansion during the Bush administration.
Trump also cited the decline in the job rate among women, and went on to claim that progress among workers in that demographic are especially noteworthy.
“So that’s means if you’re a woman and Hispanic or a woman and African American, you’re really doing well, right?” Trump said.
In fact, the jobless rate among Hispanic and black women is substantially higher than for white women – or for the average worker.
Trump said Monday the Republican tax law and his push to slash regulations are driving one of the “greatest booms” to the U.S. economy and helping Hispanic workers.
Speaking a day before the personal income tax filing deadline, Trump said: “This is the last time we’re going to fill out that long, complicated, horrible return.” Next year, once the tax law is fully implemented, the president said, filing a federal return will be “simple and easy to do.”
Trump has withheld the release of his personal tax returns, falling short of the standard followed by presidents since Richard Nixon started the practice in 1969. During the 2016 campaign, Trump argued he couldn’t release his taxes because he was under an audit by the IRS.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.