Donald Trump Has Only Delivered 1,200 Coal-Mining Jobs, Despite Claiming to Have Created 45,000

Residents pray before receiving free groceries at the Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Bank outside of the struggling coal-mining town of Welch, West Virginia, on May 20. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Donald Trump spent much of his campaign promising to bring back coal, an industry that he said then-President Barack Obama had demoralized with too many regulations. So in July when Trump declared at a rally that he had created 45,000 coal jobs since the start of his presidency, many coal miners rejoiced.

"Everybody was saying, 'Well, you won't get any mining jobs,' we picked up 45,000 mining jobs. Well, the miners are very happy with Trump and with Pence, and we're very proud of that," Trump said to an excited audience.

The only problem seems to be that number was nowhere close to true. In fact, since the beginning of Trump's presidency, just 1,200 coal-mining jobs have been created, according to monthly reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the 1,200 coal jobs during Trump's presidency thus far are just 100 more than were created between August and December 2016 under President Obama.

Further, just a week ago, a union official said a mine in West Virginia was no longer in use and 260 workers had lost their jobs, adding that an additional 59 were laid off months ago at a different mine.

At the same rally, Trump credited the 45,000 jobs to his work of getting rid of environmental regulations he said were keeping coal miners from doing their jobs. In the first nearly 11 months of the Trump presidency, he has overturned 29 regulations, with an additional 24 in the process of being rolled back, according to a count from The New York Times.

While the results have been far from what Trump promised, many coal miners who supported him last November are refusing to give up. In November, Reuters reported on coal miners who were rejecting training courses in other fields, citing Trump's promise that he would bring back coal jobs.

"I think there is a coal comeback," the son of a Pennsylvania coal miner who himself enrolled in a coal-mining course told Reuters.

Many experts have repeatedly said that the coal-mining jobs Trump has promised to resurrect no longer exist, and therefore cannot be brought back.

"The regulatory changes are entirely outweighed by these technological changes, not to mention the price of natural gas or renewables. Even if you brought back demand for coal, you wouldn't bring back the same number of workers," Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, told The New York Times in March.

But that won't stop Trump voters from hoping, even as he promises them jobs that will never again exist.