Fact check: Trump's 2019 State of the Union address

On the 5th of February, President Trump gave the 2019 State of the Union Address (video, text). In it, he claimed the following:

Claim 1: 

” In just over two years since the election we have launched an unprecedented economic boom, we have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added six hundred thousands new manufacturing new jobs”

Fact check 1: Needs context

According to the below quoted official source, in the years 2017 and 2018, employment growth was 4.7 million (non-farm sector), manufacturing employment increased by 491.000.

It is difficult to compare actual numbers because the State of the Union address does not provide the source on which it is based. If the State of the Union address included new farm employment, the difference between the official figure and Trump’s claim would be minor, as reported by the Wirtschaftskammer Österreich: from 2015 to 2016, farm employment increased by 36.000 from 2.525 to 2.561 million.

The official figures for the two years preceding 2017-2018 (2.7 million in 2015, 2.2 in 2016) do not support the statement of an “unprecedented boom”.

The source of these figures is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the calendar years 2017 and 2018 (non-farm sector only / manufacturing sector):

  • “in 2017, payroll employment growth totaled 2.1 million, compared with a gain of 2.2 million in 2016″ / “manufacturing added 196,000 jobs in 2017, following little net change in 2016 (-16,000)”,
  • “payroll employment rose by 2.6 million in 2018, compared with a gain of 2.2 million in 2017″ / “manufacturing employment increased by 284,000 over the year, … manufacturing had added 207,000 jobs in 2017”.

The figures for the two calendar years preceding 2017 – 2108:

  • “in 2015, payroll employment growth totaled 2.7 million, compared with 3.1 million in 2014″,
  • “job growth totaled 2.2 million in 2016, less than the increase of 2.7 million in 2015″.

Claim 2: 

“Nearly five million Americans have been lifted off food stamps”

Fact check 2: Mostly True!

According to official data, 4.7 million fewer people were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in September 2018 than in October 2016.

It is important to note, however, that SNAP enrollment has been declining since 2014, according to Factcheck.org.


Claim 3: 

” African American, Hispanic American and Asian American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded”


Fact check 3: True

According to the Bureau of labor and statistics, the unemployment rate hit the lowest rate ever recorded for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans.






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