Did US Unemployment Reach Record Low Due to Trump?

7 min read
fairly difficult
The Trump campaign alleged pre-COVID-19 unemployment rates were evidence that he could jumpstart the pandemic-stricken economy.
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During the U.S. vice presidential debate on Oct. 7, 2020, Republican candidate Mike Pence claimed he and U.S. President Donald Trump worked "from day one" in the White House to drive down American unemployment to "record" low levels — evidence, he alleged, that voters should re-elect Trump on Nov. 3 to try and reshape the economy after unprecedented job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement echoed previous comments by the president. In October 2019, the White House issued a news release suggesting the Trump administration's "pro-growth agenda" was the reason for new jobs and a declining unemployment rate, reaching a level not seen in 50 years.

Then, on Jan. 29, 2020, roughly one week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first COVID-19 case in the U.S., Trump reiterated on Twitter:

About six weeks later as the deadly virus spread nationwide, Trump doubled down on that "50 year" claim and said his administration is responsible for the "best unemployment numbers in the history of our Country." He tweeted:

The claim took on another layer as the pandemic worsened: Trump alleged without evidence that his administration was responsible for helping Black Americans, specifically, get jobs. For instance, on June 2, he claimed he "has done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln," and that the country's unemployment figure among Black Americans was evidence of that work.

After that, Trump supporters went a step further by circulating the below-displayed meme online, alleging that Trump not only drove down unemployment rates for people who identify as Black or African American but also women and Hispanic workers.

This was true: U.S. Unemployment Reached 50-year Low Under Trump

But no evidence showed Trump was responsible for causing the…
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