Black Unemployment Hit Record Lows Under Both Donald Trump And Joe Biden, So Why Give Trump The Credit?


Convicted Felon, Donald Trump, At Indictment Hearing Source: STEVEN HIRSCH / Getty

Here’s a simple fact about Donald Trump: He’s going to tell partial truths when it comes to Black people and how we faired economically under his presidency. Notice I didn’t write, “half-truths,” I wrote, “partial truths,” which is to say he only tells the part that makes him look like Black people’s great orangey-white hope while leaving out everything that would credit his either his predecessor or his successor, who happens to be his opponent in November.

In other words: Donald Trump will rely on Black voters not bothering to check the facts on which presidential administration has been better for the Black economy. And he surely won’t tell you about the discrimination that led to racial disparities in employment during the pandemic and how it was Black people who fared the worst. And how, if he handled the pandemic like he had even a dime’s worth of sense, the unemployment wouldn’t have been nearly as bad for Black people.

Paramedic in front of ambulance, with face mask

Source: kali9 / Getty

Nevertheless, Trump and his campaign have claimed ad nauseam that poverty and unemployment in the Black community saw record lows during the four years he was in office. This is true. Maybe. Under Trump’s administration, Census data was obstructed, for example, which meant that data we rely on to know who Americans are and how they’re faring, becomes less scientifically sound.

More, there’s this fact: poverty and unemployment in the Black community fell to an even lower record low under Biden.


The Census Bureau has consistently tabulated data on poverty, including the breakdown by race and ethnicity, since 1966.

The Black poverty rate hit a record low during Trump’s presidency in 2019 at 18.8%. The poverty rate has fallen further under Biden’s presidency, hitting 17.1% in 2022, the last year for which data is available.

Trump’s 2019 record low was 3.2 percentage points lower than 2016’s, the final year of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Biden’s 2022 record low was 2.5 percentage points lower than 2020’s, Trump’s final year.

Because the Black poverty rate has generally been trending down since the 1960s, numerous other presidents can claim to have achieved record lows on Black poverty during their tenure — including Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, Obama, Trump and Biden.

Side note: Earlier this month, Congressman and official Black Trump butt sniffer Byron Donalds made headlines for wanna-be-whitesplaining to Black people that nuclear Black families were more prevalent per capita under Jim Crow than they are now, which a lot of people interpreted as a clear insinuation that Black people faired better when second-class citizenship was legally sanctioned. But if Black poverty rates have done almost nothing but decline since the ’60s—which notably doesn’t change the fact that the racial wealth gap has done nothing but increase—then you can’t really make a cohesive argument that Black families were better off them just because there were more two-parent homes. I mean Donalds’ remark was already dumb AF, but it’s worth pointing out the sunken-place depths of his dumb-AF-ness.

So, besides Trump, most of the last half-dozen presidents can also claim that Black poverty declined on their watch, which, by Trumpian logic, still means Black people are better off under Biden since the current commander-in-chief came after him and can also claim that record low.

Beyond all of that, we should also consider that the former presidentwho spearheaded the propaganda-reliant attack on critical race theoryissued an executive order banning diversity training in the workplace during his presidency, and is now promising to end all DEI programs across America if he’s elected again—spent much of his presidency taking credit for Black economic gains that he inherited after the policies of President Barack Obama set them in motion. 

In 2020, Trump not only took full credit for the record low in Black unemployment, but he took credit for Black economic gains that didn’t exist, and he even had the caucasity to characterize those gains as “a tribute to equality” during civil unrest and nationwide protests against systemic racism in policing in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

From the Associated Press:

TRUMP: “What we’re announcing today is a tremendous tribute to equality. We’re bringing our jobs back.” — remarks Friday to reporters.

THE FACTS: The joblessness figures in Friday’s report did not improve uniformly across racial and ethnic groups.

The unemployment rate did decline last month for white workers, to 12.4% from 14.2% in April, as well as for Latinos, to 17.6% from 18.9%.

But joblessness actually rose slightly for African American workers, to 16.8% from 16.7%. For Asian Americans, it increased to 15% from 14.5%.

TRUMP, on the economy before the pandemic: “We had the best numbers for African Americans on employment and unemployment in history … best everything.” — Fox News interview Wednesday

THE FACTS: True on unemployment. Not true by a long shot on “everything” in the economy.

Black unemployment reached a record low during the Trump administration, 5.4% in August, as the longest economic expansion in history pressed ahead.

Most of the progress came when Barack Obama was president: Black unemployment dropped from a recession high of 16.8% in March 2010 to 7.8% in January 2017. Improvement continued under Trump until the pandemic. Black unemployment reached 16.8% in May, compared with 13.3% for the overall population.

Not all economic measures improved for African Americans under Trump before the pandemic. A black household earned median income of $41,361 in 2018, the latest data available. That’s below a 2000 peak of $43,380, according to the Census Bureau.

Donald Trump is truly the Miss Millie of presidents and the Milli Vanilli of white saviors. Ever since he’s been drowning in indictments and felony convictions, he’s been trying to relate to Black people by comparing his accountability to our experience in the American justice system—then he turns around and promotes policies that deny the existence of systemic racism and eliminates any programs designed to counteract it. And he does all of this while telling partial truths and flat-out lies about what he has already done for Black people.

And we should remember this come November.


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The post Black Unemployment Hit Record Lows Under Both Donald Trump And Joe Biden, So Why Give Trump The Credit? appeared first on NewsOne.

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