CNN's Christine Romans Fact-Checks Donald Trump's False Unemployment Rate Claims

Romans: Trump's Claim That Unemployment Levels Are “8 Times The Published Rate” Are Just “Not True”

From the March 15 edition of CNN's Early Start with With John Berman & Christine Romans (emphasis added):

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CHRISTINE ROMANS (HOST): Money and politics here. On the stump, and in interviews Donald Trump -- the front runner on the GOP -- has claimed the official unemployment rate is eight times the published rate. Just this weekend, he told CNN's Don Lemon, quote “as you know, as people give up looking for jobs ... all of the sudden they are considered employed statistically.” Well that's not true. They are not counted as employed. They drop out of the labor market if they are not looking for work. And, he has said this:


DONALD TRUMP: Don't believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number's probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.


ROMANS: All of those statistics are not true. To make it to 42 percent unemployment, he would have to count every single person who is not working and then some. He would have to count students, the elderly, retirees, stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home dads. People who don't want to work. People who don't have to work. And to some degree, people who have just given up looking. The official unemployment rate is an active measure of who is looking for work. It currently sits at 4.9 percent. Now, there is another unemployment rate that is higher, it is also helpful to assess the health of the job market, its called the underemployment rate. It is 9.7 percent. Now, that counts people who are looking for work. It counts people who are working part-time, but they want to work full-time. It counts discouraged workers who have given up recently looking for work but would like to work. By no means are 42 percent of Americans unemployed.


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