Editorials

Obama’s Manufacturing Bust

Barack H. Obama left office as the first Democratic president to preside over a net loss of domestic manufacturing jobs since the U.S. government started compiling records in the late 1930’s.  There were 206,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in January 2017 (12,355,000) than in January 2009 (12,561,000) when Obama entered the White House, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics records stretching back to 1939.

Since 2010 Obama’s administration has claimed the opposite: His economic policies created net new manufacturing jobs.  Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest repeated the claim in late November 2016 after Donald Trump tweeted approval of Carrier’s decision to maintain jobs at its Indianapolis plant, rather than export them to Mexico.  “I know that the President-elect has indicated that he deserves credit for that announcement,” Earnest said.

And I guess what I would observe is that if he is successful in doing that 804 more times, then he will meet the record of manufacturing jobs that were created in the United States while President Obama was in office.  There were 805,000 manufacturing jobs that weren’t just protected or saved, but actually created while President Obama was in office.

The Obama administration came up with the 805,000 figure by calculating manufacturing gains from February 2010, not from the month (January 2009) Obama...

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