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Have manufacturing jobs been on the rise more quickly than in two decades?
The West Virginia Republican Party touted gains in manufacturing employment in a tweet on Aug. 7.
"Thanks to President Trump and Republicans over the past year through July, U.S. manufacturing added 327,000 jobs, the most of any 12-month period since April 1995, when the figure added a healthy 345,000 positions," the tweet said.
To support its assertion, the state party tweeted a link to a CNBC article that included that text verbatim.
How accurate are those numbers? They check out.
Between the months of July 2017-July 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a gain of 327,000 jobs in manufacturing, just as the CNBC article said.
We looked at the previous July-to-July gains or losses in manufacturing jobs going back to 1994-95 and found that the 2018 performance was easily the best during that period. Here are the results:
We also confirmed that from April 1994 to April 1995, the economy gained 345,000 manufacturing jobs. The intervening periods -- May 1994 to May 1995, and June 1994 to June 1994 -- both fell short of 345,000.
We’ll note that manufacturing jobs are only slowly recovering the ground they have lost since the 1980s, and especially after the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009. Here’s the long view of manufacturing employment in the United States:
To the extent that manufacturing employment has been increasing, it’s been doing so at a fairly steady -- if modest -- rate since 2010, including more than six years on President Barack Obama’s watch.
In addition, while the tweet gave Trump and Republicans credit for the recent gain, economists say presidents don’t deserve either full credit or full blame for employment trends on their watch. The president is not all-powerful on economic matters; broader factors, from the business cycle to changes in technology to demographic shifts, play major roles.
The West Virginia Republican Party tweeted, "Thanks to President Trump and Republicans over the past year through July, U.S. manufacturing added 327,000 jobs, the most of any 12-month period since April 1995, when the figure added a healthy 345,000 positions."
The numbers and the length of time are accurate. It’s worth noting, however, that the climb has been under way for years, and that many factors play a role in such economic achievements, not just the president or his party.
The statement is accurate but needs additional information, so we rate it Mostly True.
West Virginia Republican Party, tweet, Aug. 7, 2018
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, "All Employees, manufacturing." accessed Aug. 30, 2018
PolitiFact, Fact-checking Donald Trump’s talking points about the economy, July 27, 2018
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