President Donald Trump has taken credit for low African American unemployment in the US – even though the rate declined most significantly under former President Barack Obama’s administration.
“And something I’m very proud of, African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded,” Mr Trump declared during his first State of the Union address to roaring applause.
But members of the Congressional Black Caucus, dressed in kente clothe, appeared unmoved, blankly staring at Mr Trump instead of clapping.
It’s correct that the black unemployment rate recently reached its lowest level in decades, but it has been steadily declining for about the last seven years.
When Mr Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, the black unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent – the lowest it had been in nearly 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
During Mr Trump’s first year as President, it dropped to 6.8 per cent in December – the lowest rate ever reported ever since the bureau began regularly breaking out unemployment rates by race in 1972.
In the same 11-month period in 2016, the rate also dropped by about 1 per cent.
The was even more pronounced in each of the three years before that: The rate fell by 1.9 per cent in 2015, 1.5 per cent in 2014 and 1.8 per cent in 2013.
Fact check Trump: Black unemployment has been reduced by 10 points over last 9 years. Under Obama it was reduced by Nine points. It was reduced by one point under Trump. Thanks President Obama #StateofOurUnion
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) January 31, 2018
“Fact check Trump: Black unemployment has been reduced by 10 points over last 9 year,” wrote Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah on Twitter. “Under Obama it was reduced by Nine points. It was reduced by one point under Trump. Thanks President Obama”.
During his speech Mr Trump also declared a new aggressive posture on trade, saying ”the era of economic surrender is over”.