Pence's statement that 500 manufacturing jobs were created during the Trump Administration is misleading

 Newswise
8-Oct-2020 11:00 AM EDT, by Newswise

Fact Check By: Craig Jones, Newswise

Truthfulness: Mostly False

Claim:

This administration saw 500,000 manufacturing jobs created.

Claim Publisher and Date: Vice President Mike Pence on 2020-10-07

During the Vice Presidential debate between incumbant Vice President Mike Pence and Sentator Kamala Harris, Pence claimed, "This administration saw 500,000 manufacturing jobs created." 

The number of manufacturing jobs grew from 12.37 million to 12.81 million from Jan. 2017 to March 2020 (an increase of about 437,000). However, Pence, by focusing on the 450,000 manufacturing jobs added during the first three years of the Trump administration, leaves out the job-killing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. By August 2020,  the number of manufacturing jobs had fallen to 12.13 million. That is 237,000 less than what it started with.

Sources: https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/ceshighlights.pdf

As reported by Politifact: 

Pence’s figure ignores the recession caused by the pandemic. Between the time Trump became president in January 2017 and March 2020 — right as the pandemic hit — the number of manufacturing jobs grew from 12.37 million to 12.81 million, an increase of about 437,000. 

By August 2020, however, the number of manufacturing jobs had fallen to 12.13 million. This means that on Trump’s watch, the change in manufacturing jobs has actually been negative, dropping by 237,000. These jobs may come back when the coronavirus is no longer a threat and the economy recovers, but that’s not the situation we’re in now, and a full recovery is no certainty.

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