At a meeting of business leaders at the White House on Tuesday, President Donald Trump claimed that he was already making good on his promise to be “the greatest jobs producer that God ever created.”
“We’ve created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time, and it’s going to really start catching on now, because some of the things that we’ve done are big league and they are catching on,” Trump said.
According to data from his own government, that’s just not true.
Preliminary statistics released by the U.S. Labor Department show a total of 219,000 jobs were created in February and 98,000 in March. That makes a total of 317,000 new jobs.
Trump only took office on the afternoon of January 20 and so spent jus 11.5 days of that month as the president. Despite this fact, a White House spokesman said that Trump is including the jobs created in the United States in January as well, according to CNN Money.
But even if that’s the case—216,000 jobs were created in January—the total is still only 533,000, some way off Trump’s 600,000 figure.
Trump has made job creation central to his administration’s agenda, with business and consumer optimism generally on the rise since the Republican defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the November 2016 election. Optimism among small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, is at its highest level in more than a decade.
The president has tried to claim credit for jobs created by many U.S. and international companies active in the country since his election. Some of these companies—such as Intel and ExxonMobil— have acknowledged that Trump’s pro-business policies have played a role in their decisions. But many of the programs have been in the works long before Trump even decided to run for the presidency, and several companies have made no reference to the new administration when announcing new jobs.
So far in 2017, the U.S. economy has added an average of 178,000 jobs per month—slightly lower than the 2016 average of 187,000 under the Obama administration. And Trump is currently some way short of his promise to create 25 million jobs in the next decade, or 208,333 per month.