Hillary Clinton has not been shy to claim on the campaign trail that her economic plans would create 10 million jobs, while Donald Trump’s policies would lead to the loss of 3.4 million jobs. These figures are said to come from an independent analysis led by a former advisor to Republican John McCain.
Although the projection may have some truth to it, there are some reasons to be doubtful. These include:
- Economists are notoriously bad at making economic predictions. This had led to jokes like “economists have forecasted nine out of the last five recessions.”
- Only Moody’s Analytics was willing to make a candidate job forecast. Other prominent forecasting groups declined the opportunity, both because it’s a tough matter, and the candidates haven’t fully disclosed their plans.
- Although Mark Zandi, the lead economist making these projections, did advise McCain, he isn’t necessarily a conservative. He was vocal about backing Obama’s stimulus package, and financially supported the Clinton campaign to the maximum amount legally allowed in 2015.
- The economy is expected to add 7.2 million jobs over the tenure of the next president in office anyway, which would make it so Clinton would have added less than three million positions.
- Many of the added jobs would likely go immigrants, as Clinton would look to expand America’s visa and green card programs.
- The projections make many assumptions about the economy that may not hold true in the real world.