On November 30th, White House Press Secretary John Earnest claimed that 805,000 manufacturing jobs were added during President Obama’s time in office. However, the actual data does not support this claim.
Earnest’s statement was made following President-elect Donald Trump’s deal with Carrier that resulted in its decision to keep 1,000 jobs in the United States. This deal has been touted as a major victory for the President-elect.
Earnest also commented that Trump would have to do 804 more deals like this to “meet the record of manufacturing jobs that were created in the United States while President Obama was in office.”
What Does The Data Really Say?
The reality is much different from what John Earnest claims. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 12.5 million manufacturing jobs in January of 2009. Last month, there were only 12.26 million manufacturing jobs in November of this year.
It seems that Earnest began his counting from February 2010. At this time, the United States has 11.45 million manufacturing jobs. This is 1.1 million fewer jobs than January of 2009. It’s 2.3 million jobs fewer than when the Great Recession in 2007.
President Obama did not add any new manufacturing jobs during his term in office. The manufacturing sector actually lost jobs under Obama. As of today, the United States still has less jobs than the period when Obama began serving as President.
The Carrier Deal
However, the President-elect’s Carrier deal may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. While the company has agreed to keep 1,000 jobs in the United States, it is still sending 800 jobs to Mexico.
Not only that, it is highly likely that more Carrier employees will lose jobs due to automation in the future. In an interview with CNBC, Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies (Carrier’s parent corporation) said the following:
“We’re going to…automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive. Is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we’ll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.”
Trump campaigned on the idea that the loss of American manufacturing jobs was the result of “bad trade deals” with other nations. He leveled blame at companies who hire workers in foreign nations.
However, there are many who believe that the real reason for the loss of these jobs is due to automation. Greg Hayes’ statements are a prime example of this.