'Amazing’: Watch this stunning fact check on Trump’s claims about economic recovery

'Amazing’: Watch this stunning fact check on Trump’s claims about economic recovery
President Donald J. Trump participates in a roundtable on the economy and tax reform Monday, April 15, 2019, at Nuss Truck & Equipment in Burnsville, Minn. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was astonished by a detailed analysis of the economic pain suffered by many American workers — but not all of them.


“Morning Joe” contributor Steve Rattner, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, brought charts to fact check claims by President Donald Trump and his advisers about the recovery since the coronavirus pandemic destroyed the U.S. economy.

“The pace of job recovery is actually slowing fairly dramatically,” Rattner said. “One other small point, the 8.4 percent unemployment rate is really 9.1 percent — the Department of Labor said there was a misclassification error, so that number isn’t as good either. Let’s turn to this question whether we’re dealing with a broad-based recovery of jobs or something more narrow. What you can see on the next chart are the disparities in how different Americans have fared. This is because the pandemic or the economic crisis didn’t hit every industry equally, travel, recreation, restaurants, so on, where people of color, lower income, women work and it was hit disproportionately hard.”

“If you are a Black person, 11.2 percent of Blacks lost their jobs, compared to 6.4 percent of whites,” he added. “If you have less than a high school diploma, almost 19 percent of those folks lost their jobs. If you have a college degree, you probably didn’t lose your job at all, because virtually none of them lost their jobs since this started.”

Scarborough interrupted to highlight those findings.

“Can I stop you for a second, Steve Rattner?” he said. “Forgive me for cutting in, we’re on a delay, and I want to underline this one number. Keep this chart up. So the statistics, the Bureau of Labor statistics shows that if you have a college degree that only 0.1 percent of people with college degrees lost their jobs, but almost 20 percent of people who have less than a college degree lost their jobs?”

Rattner explained why the devastation has been worse for some workers than others.

“If you go to a restaurant and there’s a busboy and a waiter, so on, maybe waiters are out-of-work actors with college degrees or you’re in the kitchen or you work at a theme park as a greeter, what kind of degree do you think most of those people have?” he said. “I would contrast that with people on the [MSNBC] set right now. I think all of us have college degrees and we’re all still employed. The folks in my industry are still employed, very little job loss in the finance industry, in part, because the stock market is doing so well. So this is a recession and a recovery that is hitting people very, very differently depending on upon their education, whether they’re of color and whether they’re a woman.”

Scarborough was shocked by the findings.

“Wow,” he said. “That’s amazing.”

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