President Trump Likes Taking Credit for Jobs. Here Are the Facts

March 29, 2017, 6:45 PM UTC

President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to create more jobs for American workers, and since his election, he has regularly touted his ability to negotiate deals that bring jobs to the U.S.

“Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart, and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs,” Trump said during his first address to a joint session of Congress in February.

The President has been quick to claim credit for investments companies have made in American jobs. And many companies, no doubt eager to curry favor with the new occupant of the White House, have been quick to give it to him. But it’s more complicated than that. Some of Trump’s claims have been exaggerated. And some of the jobs for which he has claimed credit were actually part of previously announced plans.

Here’s a running fact-check of what you need to know, which Fortune is updating as Trump makes more claims.

The claim: “You know all the people that were saying the mining jobs? Well, we picked up 45,000 mining jobs in a very short period of time,” Trump said on July 17 at a White House event showcasing American-made products. “And everybody was saying, well, you won’t get any mining jobs. We picked up 45,000 mining jobs, and the miners are very happy with Trump and with Pence. And we’re very proud of that. But that’s just the beginning. We have jobs coming from all over.”

The facts: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 50,800 coal mining jobs in the United States — only 800 of which have been added since January, when Trump took office. It’s possible Trump was referring to the larger mining and logging sector, which now boasts about 715,000 jobs — up from 673,000 in January, according to the BLS. That figure represents an increase of 42,000 jobs, which is closer to Trump’s estimate, though it includes more than just mining jobs.

The grade: Misleading


The claim: “Just arrived in Italy for the G7. Trip has been very successful. We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs,” Trump said in a tweet on May 26, arriving for the annual G7 summit in Sicily to conclude his first foreign trip as president.

The facts: Trump offered no further details or evidence for his claim that “millions of jobs” were created, and nothing happened during his trip that could come close to backing up such an assertion.

Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia last week. As part of the deal, which still needs approval from Congress, Saudi Arabia “expressed its intent” to spend $28 billion on defense technologies and programs by Lockheed Martin, which estimated the deal would support 18,000 jobs in the U.S. over 30 years — a figure that falls dramatically below Trump’s estimate.

“Once fully realized, the programs in this announcement will support more than 18,000 highly skilled jobs in the U.S. and thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia as part of maintaining and modernizing these platforms over the next 30 years,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement on May 20.

The grade: False

The claim: “We’ve created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time,” Trump said at a discussion with CEOs on April 11.

The facts: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 533,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy during the months of January, February and March in 2017. While that number is lower than Trump’s estimation, it’s also important to note that Trump’s term did not begin until noon on Jan. 20, which means he can’t accurately claim credit for all 216,000 jobs created in January. In February and March, alone, 317,000 jobs were created — a more accurate measure of Trump’s influence.

The grade: False

The claim: “Toyota’s decision to invest $1.3 billion in their Kentucky plant is further evidence that manufacturers are now confident that the economic climate has greatly improved under my administration,” Trump said in a statement released by Toyota on April 10. Speaking at a meeting with CEOs on April 11, he called it “an investment that would not have been made if we didn’t win the election.”

The facts: Toyota said April 10 that it would invest $1.3 billion in its plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. But the move is part of a previously announced plan to invest $10 billion in the U.S. The investment also will not create new jobs, though Toyota highlighted the previously announced addition of 700 jobs at the plant. When asked if the Trump administration’s policies affected Toyota’s decision, a company spokesperson told the New York Times they had not. “No, but we do share his goal of growing the economy and jobs in the U.S.,” company spokesperson Scott Vazin said. The company’s update on April 10 came after Trump criticized Toyota and threatened the automaker with a “big border tax” if it followed through on plans to build a plant in Mexico.

The grade: Misleading

The claim: “Big announcement by Ford today. Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” Trump tweeted on March 28, while White House counselor Kellyanne Conway touted Trump’s influence in the deal. “Two weeks after @POTUS met with auto execs…Ford plans ‘significant’ investments in 3 plants,” she said in a tweet.

The facts: Ford said it will invest $1.2 billion in three manufacturing facilities in Michigan — a plan that will create or retain 130 jobs at one of the plants. But as Reuters reported, the project is part of a 2015 negotiation with the United Auto Workers union — not a direct result of Trump’s recent meeting with auto executives. Tuesday’s announcement introduced new details about the previously planned investment. “These Michigan Assembly Plant and Romeo Engine plant announcements are consistent with what we agreed to and talked about with the UAW in 2015 negotiations,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, told the Detroit Free Press.

The grade: Misleading

The claim: “Today, I was thrilled to announce a commitment of $25 BILLION & 20K AMERICAN JOBS over the next 4 years. THANK YOU Charter Communications!” Trump tweeted on March 24, linking the announcement to other companies that “have recently announced billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs coming into the United States following my election victory.”

The facts: While Charter CEO Tom Rutledge credited the “right regulatory climate and right tax climate” for the investment, the company had already announced its intention to add 20,000 jobs in May 2016. The recent announcement at the White House included more specific details about the commitment. “In connection with our transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks last year, we reaffirmed this resolve, stating that we expected to hire 20,000 new employees at Charter, many in customer service,” the company said in a statement on March 24. “Today at the White House we announced the next steps in advancing our efforts to grow our in-house and insourced workforce.”

The grade: Misleading

The claim: “Just today — breaking news — General Motors announced that they’re adding or keeping 900 jobs right here in Michigan, and that’s going to be over the next 12 months,” Trump said at a rally in Detroit on March 15, before going on to talk about the general number of auto-industry jobs, which he said “would have been heading down big league if I didn’t get elected.”

The facts: General Motors did, in fact, announce the addition or retention of 900 jobs. As the Detroit Free Press noted, many of those jobs might go to 1,000 people who were recently laid off from the company’s Lansing Delta Township plant. GM did not give direct credit to Trump, but in a statement, CEO Mary Barra said the announcement is, in part, a reflection of the company’s confidence in the future of the U.S. economy. “The job commitments announced today demonstrate the confidence we have in our products, our people and an overall positive outlook for the auto industry and the U.S. economy,” she said in a statement.

The grade: Needs context

The claim: Trump praisedExxonMobil on March 6 for making a $20 billion investment that will create 45,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. “This is something that was done, to a large extent, because of our policies and the policies of this new administration, Trump said in a video on March 6. “I said we’re bringing back jobs. This is one big example of it.”

The facts: This 10-year investment by Exxon, which focuses on 11 natural gas projects, began in 2013 and is expected to continue through 2022, the company said. That means it was in the works long before Trump was elected president. Still, in a statement released by the White House, Exxon CEO Darren Woods thanked Trump for his commitment to growing business. “Investments of this scale require a pro-growth approach and a stable regulatory environment and we appreciate the President’s commitment to both,” Woods said.

The grade: Misleading

The claim: “General Motors likewise committed to invest billions of dollars in its American manufacturing operation, keeping many jobs here that were going to leave. And if I didn’t get elected, believe me, they would have left. And these jobs and these things that I’m announcing would never have come here,” Trump said at a Feb. 16 news conference.

The facts: It’s true that on Jan. 17, General Motors announced it would invest $1 billion in U.S. factories in 2017, creating or retaining 1,500 jobs. But General Motors spokeswoman Joanne Krell told Reuters the investment “had been in the works for some time,” so Trump’s claim that the initiative was entirely dependent on his election is inaccurate.

The grade: False

The claim: “Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives,” Trump said at a news conference on Feb. 16.

The facts: While Trump took credit for Walmart’s announcement — and thanked the retailer “for starting the big jobs push back into the U.S.” — Walmart had already announced in October a plan that would create 10,000 U.S. jobs, Reuters reported.

The grade: Misleading

The claim: “Fiat Chrysler announced it will invest $1 billion in Ohio and Michigan, creating 2,000 new American jobs,” Trump said at a news conference on Feb. 16.

The facts: Trump’s details about Fiat’s investment in Ohio and Michigan plants — announced on Jan. 8 — are correct. But Fiat said the investment was the next phase of a previously announced plan, describing it as a “continuation of the efforts already underway to increase production capacity in the U.S. on trucks and SUVs to match demand.” The company downplayed the President’s influence on the deal. “We don’t make investment decisions based on risk of a tweet,” CEO Sergio Marchionne said, according to Bloomberg, while still thanking Trump. “We owed the country this investment,” he said.

The grade: Misleading

The claim: “Intel just announced that it will move ahead with a new plant in Arizona that probably was never going to move ahead with. And that will result in at least 10,000 American jobs,” Trump said during a news conference on Feb. 16, 2017.

The facts: Standing beside Trump in the Oval Office on Feb. 8, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced a $7 billion investment to complete the company’s new Arizona factory, which will “employ approximately 3,000 direct high-paying, high-wage, high-tech jobs at its peak, and over 10,000 people in the Arizona area in support of the factory.” Asked at the time how long he had been planning the investment, Krzanich said, “We’ve been working on this factory for several years. We held off actually doing this investment until now.” He gave credit to the Trump Administration’s tax and regulatory policies. But in 2011, Intel made a $5 billion investment to begin building the same Arizona factory, announcing the plans during a visit from then-President Barack Obama. The company later halted construction due to lack of demand for the product, an Intel spokesman told CNN Money. The spokesman said the more recent investment comes as the company expects demand to increase again.

The grade: Incomplete

The claim: Trump met with pharmaceutical executives at the White House on Jan. 31, 2017. He pledged to lower drug prices, and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced after the meeting that Amgen had promised to add 1,600 jobs.

The facts: A spokeswoman for Amgen confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the company plans to hire 1,600 people across the U.S. in 2017 — some of which will be new positions and some of which will make up for attrition. This comes after the company announced in 2014 that it would cut 2,900 jobs, Bloomberg reported.

The grade: Incomplete

The claim: “Totally biased @NBCNews went out of its way to say that the big announcement from Ford, G.M., Lockheed & others that jobs are coming back…to the U.S., but had nothing to do with TRUMP, is more FAKE NEWS. Ask top CEO’s of those companies for real facts. Came back because of me!” Trump tweeted on Jan. 18, 2017.

The facts: Most of these investment initiatives were in the works before Trump was elected. As has pointed out, there are no Lockheed Martin jobs “coming back” to the United States, but there are new jobs being created as part of a contract for more F-35 planes. As for General Motors and Ford, their plans were set in motion before Trump was elected, and the companies said the decisions were not influenced by politics but by market forces.

The grade: False

The claim: “Thank you to Ford for scrapping a new plant in Mexico and creating 700 new jobs in the U.S. This is just the beginning – much more to follow,” Trump said on Jan. 3, 2017.

The facts: Trump’s tweet followed Ford’s announcement that it would cancel plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico, saying it would invest $4.5 billion in building electric cars in the U.S. — which will add 700 new jobs. Ford’s CEO explained the move by pointing to decreasing demand for small cars, which the Mexico plant would have built. He noted that he expects there to be a “more positive U.S. manufacturing business environment under President-elect Trump,” but he said he “absolutely” would have done the same thing if Trump had not been elected. Notably, this is a different Ford plant in Mexico than the two plants that Trump repeatedly criticized on the campaign trail. The $2.6 billion plan for those plants remains intact.

The grade: Needs context

The claim: “I was just called by the head people at Sprint, and they are going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States. They have taken them from other countries. They are bringing them back to the United States,” Trump said on Dec. 28, 2016. “And also OneWeb, a new company, is going to be hiring 3,000 people. So that’s very exciting.”

The facts: This was the result of a previous announcement. Sprint initially said that these jobs were part of the previously announced 50,000-job commitment by Japan’s SoftBank — which owns about 80% of Sprint. While Sprint’s CEO said it had “nothing to do with previously announced Sprint initiatives,” it appears that only the details of the initiative were new in December. The 5,000 Sprint jobs were still part of the total 50,000 pledge, as were the 3,000 OneWeb jobs.

The grade: Needs context

The claim: After Trump met with Japanese tech billionaire Masayoshi Son, the chief executive of SoftBank, on Dec. 6, 2016, the two announced that Son would invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 new jobs. “Masa said he would never do this had we [Trump] not won the election!” Trump tweeted.

The facts: Son told the Wall Street Journal that this money will come from a $100 billion technology investment fund that he announced in October 2016, before Trump’s election. His specific pledge to create 50,000 American jobs came in December, but plans for the investment preceded Trump’s involvement, even though he claimed full credit.

The grade: Misleading

The claim: On Dec. 1, 2016, Trump announced that he had negotiated a deal with Carrier, which is owned by United Technologies, to save 1,100 jobs in Indiana from being shipped to Mexico.

The facts: That’s not exactly true. Trump’s deal will actually save 800 jobs at a Carrier factory in Indiana. In February 2016, United Technologies said it would send 2,100 jobs from Indiana to Mexico: 1,400 from a Carrier plant and 700 from a United Technologies Electronics Controls facility. Of the 1,100 jobs that Trump included in his announcement, 300 were never going to leave Indiana in the first place. And an additional 1,300 jobs are still moving to Mexico from the Carrier factory and a United Technologies Electronic Controls plant, combined. It’s also notable that the deal was made possible because Vice President Mike Pence was, at the time, still governor of Indiana, which granted Carrier $7 million in tax incentives as part of the negotiation.

The grade: Misleading

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