Donald Trump, it turns out, doesn’t believe that unemployment figures reported by the Federal Reserve are accurate. The Fed reports that unemployment is around 5 percent; Trump believes actual unemployment is more around 20 percent.
Trump told the New York Post’s John Crudele that only “dummies” would believe the figure presented by the Fed, citing the fact that he gets “20,000 to 25,000 people every time I make a speech, and they are not there just because of the border.”
The newly-anointed Republican Party candidate claims that people come to his rallies because of the poor state of the job market and economy: “they are there because— and you know— if you put out a job notice, you’ll get thousands of people showing up to pick up a job,” he told Crudele.
If Trump wins the November election, he plans to investigate the fact-gathering and reporting methods of the agencies, including the Fed, that publish U.S. economic statistics. It should be noted that Trump has called for an audit of the Fed in the past.
To evaluate Trump’s assertion, it is important to consider what does and does not go into official unemployment rates. People who have given up on searching for a job for a year or longer do not factor into reported statistics.
In addition, there is an entire demographic of workers lumped under the designation “U-6”; these workers include not only those who have given up on finding full-time work, but those who work part-time because they can’t find a full-time position. U-6 individuals constitute 9.7 percent of the workforce.
Some economists argue that with all unemployed and underemployed individuals counted for, the rate of insufficient employment may be close to what Trump proclaims.