Donald Trump

Fact-Checking the Democratic Response: Stacey Abrams' Claims on the Economy

A look at Stacey Abrams' comments on the economy from her response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday night and how it compares with the facts:

CLAIM: "The Republican tax bill rigged the system against working people. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living."

FACTS: Although it's true that some manufacturing companies in the U.S. have recently announced layoffs and plant closures, the economy is doing better in the wake of the Trump administration's tax cuts than Abrams suggests.

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs, briefly fell to a five-decade low last year. And average hourly pay is running ahead of inflation.

Both manufacturing and overall employment are up since Trump took office in Jan. 2017, FactCheck reported. One estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that total nonfarm employment is up by nearly 4.9 million jobs. Manufacturing employment is up by 454,400 since Trump became president, according to the BLS.

Another BLS report shows weekly inflation-adjusted earnings for rank-and-file production and nonsupervisory workers have gone up 2.6 percent since Trump took office and 1.4 percent since the tax bill became law in Dec. 2017.

Several corporations, including General Motors, have blamed Trump's tariffs, not the tax bill, as the cause of recent layoffs and closures, NBC News reported.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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