Economists scratch their heads after President Trump tweeted about a "blowout" of 303,000 jobs the economy added in October, more than twice the 1945,000 reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics early Friday.
"Wow, a blown JOBS number just out, adjusted for revisions and the General Motors strike, 303,000," Trump tweeted. "This is far greater than expected. USA ROCKS! "
Chris Lu, the former Deputy Secretary of State's job for President Barack Obama, tweeted that Trump had" reached a new low and constitutes false numbers. "
Even Although Trump's comments about jobs include revisions and GM strike, economists still marvel at his math.
"What the president said today is not related to any empirical reality," said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM.
For one thing, Trump's number throws in the 95,000 in upward revisions of job gains in August and September, economist Michael Feroli of JPMorgan Chase says he usually does not consider previous months' revisions as part of the latest monthly review, but Jim O & # 39; Sullivan, chief of the US economy in High Frequency Economics , says it is not unreasonable to include the upgrade since it gives a total US salary.
But remember that when Trump has Ha n has not highlighted any downward revisions to previous months.
The GM strike, meanwhile, led 46,000 workers, the BLS has said. BLS said on Friday that motor vehicles and parts producing lost 42,000 workers in October, suggesting it would have added 4,000 if not for the strike.
But wait. Economists estimated that the car industry would lose another 10,000 to 12,000 jobs because of the strike's impact on car suppliers, pushing the GM strike fee to 58,000 jobs. Tomas Philipson, who heads the Council of Economic Advisers, estimated an even greater impact on car suppliers who nudged the GM effect to 60,000.
As a result, the White House says: But for the strike, total US employment would have been 60,000 higher, so let's add that to the October census.
Still, O & # 39; Sullivan says that it does not It does not appear that there was any noticeable effect of the strike on car suppliers. Philipson's math indicates that the car industry would have added about 20,000 jobs if not for the strike. But in the last six months, the sector has lost an average of 2,000 jobs a month and not more than 2,000 in a single month, notes O & # 39; Sullivan.
During an interview on Fox Business Network, leader Larry Kudlow, chairman of the National Economic Council, also cited the layoffs in October of 20,000 vacancies for the 2020 census. That, he said, should be added to the hypothetical scenario that does not include GM or effects on the census.
So if we add the 95,000 jobs from previous months' revisions, the 60,000 GM-related jobs and the 20,000 censuses will work to 128,000 in total, voila – we'll get 303,000.
"It's a blowout figure," Kudlow said. "We haven't seen anything like it."
Yet, apart from the accuracy of the GM figure and the validity of wrapping up in previous months' revisions, this is it: The White House did not pull the 20,000 temporary censuses that inflated previous job reports, so why add them to October? And administration officials probably won't take the 46,000 – or 60,000 – automatic jobs from the November century when employees are going back to work.
But Feroli suggests giving Trump a break.
"I think the 303,000 are debatable, he says." But I would not dismiss it by hand. "
Added O & # 39; Sullivan," I think there are more obvious things you can call him out . "