Donald Trump marked the worst presidential job record since the Great Depression.
Trump’s presidency ended today, January 20 after Joe Biden’s inauguration. While his approval ratings were at an all-time low, he saved face with some things that he achieved throughout his term.
Trump has long proclaimed to have done wonders for the economy, previously stating he presided over the ‘greatest economy in the history of [America]’, however, a jobs report released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics proves the success was fleeting.
According to the report, when Trump was inaugurated in 2017, employment in America was at 145.6 million.
The president did see improvement during the first three years of his term, during which time the gross domestic product grew and unemployment rates declined. But then, the coronavirus outbreak caused a roadblock to the improving numbers.
In December 2020, employment in the US was at 142.6 million, marking a decline of three million jobs. The last time employment rates fell was during a presidential term in 1933, with the departure of Herbert Hoover in the early period of the Great Depression.
The ongoing pandemic proved detrimental to economies across the world, with many employers unable to retain staff while losing their customers to stay-at-home orders.
According to a report by ABC News, the unemployment rate reached a 50-year low of 3.5% in February before rocketing to 14.7% in April, following the outbreak. As of last month, it receded to 6.7%.
The US employment was increasing at an annualized rate of 1.5% before the pandemic hit, according to an analysis by Fortune, cited by Newsweek. However, Trump is leaving office with a -0.5% annualized job growth rate.
In comparison, US employment showed 1% annualized growth under Barack Obama’s presidential term.
“He didn’t pump enough money to state and local governments. And we lost more jobs in state and local government than we did the whole of the Great Recession,” William Spriggs, Howard University and AFL-CIO economist told The Washington Post.
Though every government faced a difficult task in the pandemic, economists have noted that the US economy suffered more than other nations due to Trump’s failure to implement a quick and clear response.
“The utter lack of a coherent, effective response to COVID has just done enormous damage to the economy,” Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Department of Labor, told ABC News.