AP FACT CHECK: Trump's vast pool of idle labor is a mirage

WASHINGTON — As he envisions a manufacturing revival, President Donald Trump is telling lawmakers the U.S. has a vast, idle labor pool itching to go to work. That's a mirage.

His remarks Tuesday at a meeting with members of Congress about trade:

TRUMP: "I do have to say that we do have a pool of 100 million people, of which some of them — many of them — want to work; they want to have a job. A lot of them do better not working, frankly, under the laws. And people don't like to talk about it. But you're competing against government. And they have great potential. They sort of want to work, but they're making less if they work than if they stay home and do other things. So we have to address that situation. That's a big problem. But we have a pool of 100 million people, a lot of whom want to work. "

THE FACTS: "Some of them" is true. But that's not true for most.

Out of Trump's pool of 100 million (actually 95.7 million, according to the government), only about 5.2 million say they want to be working. The vast majority is made up of students aged 16 and over, the elderly and people who want to stay home to raise their children. That information comes from the same government survey used to calculate the unemployment rate.

The economy is already considered to be close to full employment, meaning it's harder to find workers to fill new jobs — harder still if Trump succeeds in curbing immigration.

Few economists blame social programs for keeping people at home and out of work, as Trump appeared to do. Instead, recent economic research suggests opioid addiction is a key reason many Americans can't get or keep jobs. And past episodes of widespread imprisonment are also a factor: Having a criminal conviction makes it hard for people to find work once they are out of jail.

Trump reasons that trade penalties he's considering against other countries would spur domestic manufacturing if imports become too expensive. But Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and other lawmakers told him to tread carefully on trade sanctions because the tight U.S. labor market has existing manufacturers struggling to fill jobs.

___

Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

___

Associated Press writer Cal Woodward contributed to this report.

Related News

Asian stocks mostly higher after Wall Street...

Aug 17, 2016

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Wednesday after Wall Street declined

Global stocks dip ahead of release of Fed minutes

Aug 17, 2016

Global stocks and the price of oil dipped Wednesday as investors awaited the release of the minutes...

Asian stocks climb on signs US rate hike off...

Aug 18, 2016

Asian stocks rose Wednesday after Wall Street edged higher on news the U.S. Federal Reserve is in...

Global stocks climb on signs US rate hike not...

Aug 18, 2016

Global stocks rose Thursday after Wall Street edged higher on news the U.S. Federal Reserve is in...

China tightens control of online news after...

Aug 19, 2016

The Chinese government is holding chief editors of news websites personally liable for content...

World stocks slip as investors eye timing of Fed...

Aug 19, 2016

World stock markets have turned lower as investors speculate whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will...

You may also like these

Global stocks dip ahead of release of Fed minutes

Aug 17, 2016

Global stocks and the price of oil dipped Wednesday as investors awaited the release of the minutes...

China promises cooperation on steel at global...

Sep 5, 2016

China promises cooperation on steel at global summit amid pressure for trade curbs

IMF raises China growth forecast but warns on debt

Jan 16, 2017

The International Monetary Fund has raised its growth forecast for China but warned that rising...

What Trump's trade and geopolitical moves mean...

Jan 24, 2017

With his rejection of an Asian trade pact, U.S. President Donald Trump has started tackling policy...

China manufacturing activity in January close to...

Feb 1, 2017

A government survey shows China's manufacturing activity expanded in January at close to its...

About Us

Established in 2015, The Upstocker provides insights on financial reports, commentary, and investment data to traders so that you can make better investment decisions.

Contact us: sales@theupstocker.com

Subscribe Now!