Trump on Female Employment: 'Sorry Women, I Let You Down Again'

President Donald Trump appeared to take a jab at women's rights activists who have criticized his track record during a rally in Evansville, Indiana, on Thursday, jokingly apologizing for having let women "down again" as he boasted that the "women's unemployment rate recently reached only the lowest rate in 65 years."

In addition to touting low unemployment numbers for African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans youth and former prisoners, Trump said: "Sorry women, I let you down again."

"Women's unemployment rate recently reached only the lowest rate in 65 years," he claimed, to a cheering crowd at the rally held in support of Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun. "I let you down... I am so sorry. What can I do?"

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U.S. President Donald Trump tosses a report during his speech at a campaign rally at the Ford Center on August 30, 2018 in Evansville, Indiana. The U.S. leader joked about the unemployment rate for women at the rally. Michael B. Thomas/Getty

Repeating a talking point the president has been pushing since January, Trump said "I predict 65 years for women, most of the rest are historic. The women, I promise you, within three or four weeks, you will also be at historic levels. I think 65."

Predicting backlash, the president said: "We will say 65 years is not good enough," before adding: "A big one that just came out, consumer confidence in our country is at an 18-year high. Isn't that beautiful?"

'Misleading talking point'

Both Trump and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway have boasted about the number of women joining the workforce during the U.S. leader's time in office, with Conway complimenting Trump on seeing "over half a million new women" enter the workforce under his watch.

FactCheck.org, a project run by The Annenberg Public Policy Center, has called it a "misleading talking point," however, asserting that the president's claims need to be put "into context."

After Trump touted the growth in the number of women joining the workforce in January, FactCheck Director Eugene Kiely explained that while "it's true that 863,000 women joined the workforce during the president's first 11 months in office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics...that's 34 percent less than the number of women workers that were added over the same period, from January to December, in each of the last two years."

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The women's unemployment rate has been trending down for years. FactCheck.org

"In fact," he said, "it's the smallest increase since 2012 and below the historical norm for the past 54 years, dating to 1964."

Trump has maintained, however, that his White House is making "incredible progress," sharing how "very proud" he is that there are "more women in the workforce than ever before... on my watch."

Kiely explained, however, that "the women's unemployment rate... has been trending down for several years."

Read more: Where is job growth in the U.S. happening?

"There were nearly 73 million women workers as of December—which is indeed 'more women in the workforce than ever before,' as Trump said. But, as the U.S. population grows, that statement can be made almost every year," he wrote.

The FactCheck director said that the boost in numbers of women in the workforce under Trump before January this year "was the smallest 11-month gain since 2012, when the number of women workers increased by 816,000 or 1.2 percent."

"It was also 34 percent lower than the 1.3 million women workers that were added in each of the last 11 months in 2015 and 2016," he said.

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Statista

"The 863,000 increase in women workers in Trump's first 11 months is also below the historical norm," Kiely added, explaining that the average increase over the last 54 years from 1964 to 2017 was 936,000 when measured for the 11-month period of January to December.

As a result, "the 863,000 increase under Trump ranked 33rd highest in the last 54 years," he said.

Since January, the unemployment rate of women in the U.S. has fluctuated, dropping as low as to 2.58 million and 2.55 million in May, according to Statista data, which has not been seasonally adjusted.

Last month, that number was at 3.46 million, compared to 3.62 million in July 2017.

Trump on Female Employment: 'Sorry Women, I Let You Down Again' | U.S.