By Isaac Arnsdorf and Lena Groeger / 01.29.2018
Since the election, President Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements.
A General Picture
Each figure represents 1,000 jobs
Above Left: President Trump has made many claims promising that individual companies such as Amazon, Alibaba and Boeing will hire large – and specific – numbers of American workers, a total of 2.4 million in all.
Above Right: We found that only about 206,000 of those jobs have been created so far.
Above Left: Roughly 136,000 of those were genuinely new positions, as opposed to slots that were planned before the presidential election.
Above Right: And some 63,000 of them are potentially attributable to Trump, according to the companies that did the hiring.
Above: Remember the Carrier deal right after the election? Trump claimed he had saved 1,100 jobs in the company’s Indiana operations from being moved to Mexico. Putting aside the fact that he counted 300 positions that were never at risk, Carrier received $7 million in grants and tax breaks from the state of Indiana, and still laid off more than 500 people.
Above Left: Here’s another example. Just before Trump took office, Alibaba chief Jack Ma stood with the president-elect and promised 1 million U.S. jobs.
Above Right: But there’s no sign any Americans were actually hired. The Chinese e-commerce giant wasn’t planning to build facilities or hire coders in the U.S; it’s trying to recruit American merchants to use its platform with the expectation that those companies would then hire more people. Alibaba wouldn’t comment on its progress.
Above Left: Trump claimed his trip to Saudi Arabia in May would create “millions” of American jobs.
Above Right: But no jobs were actually created. Lockheed Martin told ProPublica that 18,000 may eventually materialize if preliminary agreements proceed. Other companies that signed deals on the trip, such as Boeing and GE, couldn’t provide even estimates of potential hires.
Above Left: In October, Trump hosted a signing ceremony for a big order of Boeing jets and said it would create 70,000 jobs.
Above Right: But the company isn’t planning such a hiring spree. A Boeing spokeswoman said the number is just an estimate – using a generic formula and the sticker price of the planes – of indirect jobs that may be supported or sustained.
All figures above figures were confirmed with company representatives and the results were presented to the White House, which had no comment.
Breaking It Down: What Trump Claimed and What Actually Happened
Claim (Nov. 29, 2016) – 1K Jobs Promised:
“Carrier stepped it up and now they’re keeping – actually the number’s over 1,100 people, which is so great,” Trump said in a speech at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis on Dec. 1, 2016.
Actual: 800 New or Saved Jobs; 300 Jobs Promised but Not Created
Mike Pence, then governor of Indiana, began negotiations with Carrier in March 2016, months before he became Trump’s running mate, according to briefing materials prepared by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Trump’s claim counts 300 jobs that were never at risk and ignores more than 500 that ended up being eliminated even after the state offered Carrier $7 million to preserve the jobs.
Claim m (Dec. 6, 2016): 50K Jobs Promised
“Masa of Japan has agreed to invest $50 billion in the U.S. toward businesses and 50,000 new jobs,” Trump tweeted, referring to Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. “Masa said he would never do this had we not won the election!”
Actual: 10K New or Saved Jobs; 40K Jobs that Might Come Later
The money comes from SoftBank and an investment fund it launched with Saudi Arabia before the election. Much of that funding was likely to end up in the U.S. anyway because SoftBank has invested here extensively in the past and high-tech venture capital is concentrated in the U.S. The investments to date have created about 10,000 jobs, which is behind pace to meet the goal in four years.
Claim (Jan. 4, 2017): 700 Jobs Promised
“Thank you to Ford for scrapping a new plant in Mexico and creating 700 new jobs in the U.S.,” Trump tweeted. “This is just the beginning – much more to follow.
Actual: 700 Jobs were Already Planned; 150 Jobs that Might Come Later
Most of this investment was already committed in Ford’s 2015 contract with the auto workers’ union. Ford said its expansion decisions are based on business decisions, not politics. (Ford later increased the number to 850 from 700.)
Claim (Jan. 9, 2017): 2K Jobs Promised
“It’s finally happening – Fiat Chrysler just announced plans to invest $1BILLION in Michigan and Ohio plants, adding 2000 jobs,” Trump tweeted.
Actual: 2K Jobs were Already Planned
The investment was agreed to as part of the 2015 union contract and not attributable to Trump, a company spokeswoman said.
Claim (Jan. 9, 2017): 1M Jobs Promised
Alibaba’s chief visited Trump and pledged 1 million jobs. Trump took credit for the new jobs.
“The gentleman from China, Ma, Jack Ma [chairman of Alibaba Group], he comes up, he says, ‘Only because of you am I making this massive investment.'” Trump said in an AP interview.
Actual: 1M Potential Jobs from Indirect Economic Impact
Alibaba said it will create jobs by letting American small businesses reach Chinese consumers on its platform. That’s been the strategy since 2015. The company won’t say how many U.S. businesses have started selling through Alibaba since Trump and Ma made this announcement.
Claim (Jan. 12, 2017): 100K Jobs Promised
After Amazon announced plans to hire 100,000 people, the Trump transition team claimed credit.
“The President-elect was pleased to have played a role in that decision by Amazon,” a Trump spokesman told the Wall Street Journal .
Actual: 100K New or Saved Jobs
The hiring was on pace with Amazon’s growth in past years.
Claim (Jan. 13, 2017): 2K Jobs Promised
In a meeting with Trump, Lockheed Martin’s CEO told the then-president-elect about a plan to add 1,800 jobs. Trump said he was the reason for the hires.
“Totally biased @NBCNews went out of its way to say that the big announcement from Ford, G.M., Lockheed & others that jobs are coming back to the U.S., but had nothing to do with TRUMP, is more FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted. “Ask top CEO’s of those companies for real facts. Came back because of me!”
Actual: 2K Jobs were Already Planned
The jobs were part of the program to buy F-35 fighter jets, which is set in the Pentagon’s budget every year. Lockheed Martin credited Trump with speeding up the pace: “He accelerated the negotiation process and sharpened our focus on cost,” a company spokesman said. “It wouldn’t have happened this fast without the President’s involvement.”
Claim (Jan. 17, 2017): 7K Jobs Promised
GM said it would create or retain 1,500 manufacturing jobs in 2017 and 5,000 IT jobs over several years.
“Thank you to General Motors and Walmart for starting the big jobs push back into the U.S.!” Trump tweeted.
Actual: 650 New or Saved Jobs; 5K Jobs were Already Planned; 850 Jobs that Might Come Later
Of the manufacturing jobs, a spokesman said GM added or kept 650 to 700, with the rest delayed until 2018. Some of the jobs were required by GM’s union contract, but the spokesman couldn’t say exactly how many. The spokesman said the company is on track with the IT jobs, which were planned before Trump.
Claim (Jan. 17, 2017): 3K Jobs Promised
“Bayer AG has pledged to add U.S. jobs and investments after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, the latest in a string,” Trump tweeted,quoting a Wall Street Journal article.
Actual: 3K Jobs that Might Come Later
The hiring is contingent on Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto, which is still pending regulatory approval. It would occur over six years.
Claim (Jan. 17, 2017): 10K Jobs Promised
Walmart announced plans to hire 10,000 people.
“Thank you to General Motors and Walmart for starting the big jobs push back into the U.S.!” Trump tweeted.
Actual: 10K Jobs that Were Already Planned
The hires are part of a spending plan announced in October 2016, before Trump was elected. Walmart wouldn’t comment on its progress.
Claim (Jan. 24, 2017): 50K Jobs Promised
“I authorized the construction of the Keystone Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline, over 50,000 jobs, 50,000 beautiful construction jobs,” Trump said at a rally on Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. (At other times, he has put the number at 28,000, 38,000, 42,000 and 48,000.)
Actual: 16K New or Saved Jobs; 38K Potential Jobs from Indirect Economic Impact
According to the State Department’s assessment, the Keystone Pipeline would create 3,900 temporary construction jobs, 50 jobs during operations and 38,150 indirect and “induced” jobs. The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline says it will create 12,000 jobs but only 40 permanent positions.
Claim (Feb. 8, 2017): 10K Jobs Promised
“Intel just announced that it will move ahead with a new plant in Arizona that probably was never going to move ahead with,” Trump said at the White House on Feb. 16, 2017. “And that will result in at least 10,000 American jobs.”
Actual: 10K Jobs were Already Planned
Intel originally announced, in 2011, plans to build the facility but held off until it saw sufficient demand.
Claim (Feb. 17, 2017): 15K Jobs Promised
“President Trump has worked hand-in-hand with the private sector to get companies re-investing in America,” the White House said in an official statement on March 31, 2017. As one example, it noted, “Accenture announced the creation of 15,000 new high skilled jobs in the next four years and a $1.4 billion investment in training its own employees.”
Actual: 1K New or Saved Jobs; 14K Jobs that Might Come Later
The plan pre-dated Trump and arose from conversations between executives and clients.
Claim (Mar. 6, 2017): 45K Jobs Promised
“45,000 construction & manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. $20 billion investment. We are already winning again, America!” Trump tweeted. (An official White House statement partly copied Exxon’s announcement verbatim.)
Actual: 45K Jobs were Already Planned
The investment plan began in 2013, and several of the components have already been completed.
Claim (Mar. 15, 2017): 900 Jobs Promised
“We’re going to create 900 brand-new jobs, it was just announced, and that’s going to be peanuts compared to the kind of numbers we’re going to be seeing in the near future,” Trump said at a CEO roundtablein Ypsilanti, Mich. on March 15, 2017. “It’s going to be thousands and thousands of workers.”
Actual: 220 New or Saved Jobs; 680 Jobs were Already Planned
680 of these jobs were committed to in GM’s 2015 union contract. Meanwhile, GM cut more than 6,000 workers in other places (some of them temporary positoins and some reassigned to other sites). GM’s total U.S. hourly employment decreased to 51,000 in 2017 from 55,000 in 2016 as the company shifted production to meet demand for SUVs instead of cars.
Claim (Mar. 24, 2017): 20K Jobs Promised
“Today, I was thrilled to announce a commitment of $25 BILLION & 20K AMERICAN JOBS over the next 4 years. THANK YOU Charter Communications!” Trump tweeted.
Actual: 20K Jobs were Already Planned
The plan to add these jobs dates back to 2015, stemming from the acquisitions of Bright House and Time Warner Cable. Charter’s U.S. employment increased by 2,500 people since the end of 2016.
Claim (Mar. 28, 2017): 130 Jobs Promised
Actual: 130 Jobs were Already Planned
Ford announced three investments, two of which didn’t create any new jobs. The third was mandated by the terms of Ford’s 2015 union contract.
Claim (May 27, 2017): 1M Jobs Promised
“Just arrived in Italy for the G7,” Trump tweeted. “Trip has been very successful. We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs.”
We’ve treated this conservatively, as a promise to create a minimum of 1 million jobs.
Actual: 18K Jobs that Might Come Later; 982K Jobs Promised but Not Created
This trade mission consisted of an arms deal and several other commercial agreements. Boeing had a mix of preliminary agreements and contracts, and the company would say only that they might eventually create “thousands” of jobs in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Lockheed Martin said its agreements would create 18,000 U.S. jobs “once fully realized … over the next 30 years.” General Dynamics agreed to move production to Saudi Arabia, which is unlikely to create U.S. jobs. Blackstone announced an infrastructure fund that was already in the works for a year and hasn’t made any investments yet. GE didn’t report any jobs in the U.S. as a result of its deals in Saudi Arabia.
Claim (Jun. 28, 2017): 954 Jobs Promised
“Thank you, @Samsung! We would love to have you!” Trump tweeted, linking to an article about Samsung planning a new U.S. factory.
A press release said the factory would create 954 jobs.
Actual: 700 new or Saved Jobs; 254 Jobs that Might Come Later
Samsung said it began looking to expand in the U.S. three years earlier and entered talks with South Carolina in the fall of 2016, before the election. Samsung received more than $20 million in incentives from state and local governments.
Claim (Jul. 20, 2017): 4K Jobs Promised
Actual: 613 New or Saved Jobs; 3K Jobs that Might Come Later
Corning praised the White House for helping companies invest in manufacturing but didn’t say whether the company received any direct, specific assistance. In November 2017, Corning announced an agreement with New York State to add 185 jobs and receive $7.75 million in state grants and credits. In December 2017, North Carolina announced that Corning would add 111 jobs there over three years and get incentives worth as much as $1.2 million. The state also offered $3.2 million for another 317 jobs, but Corning hasn’t confirmed those yet.
Claim (Jul. 26, 2017): 13K Jobs Promised
“Thank you Foxconn, for investing $10 BILLION DOLLARS with the potential for up to 13K new jobs in Wisconsin! MadeInTheUSA” Trump tweeted.
Actual: 3K New or Saved Jobs; 10K Jobs that Might Come Later
Foxconn had been looking to build a plant in the U.S. since 2014, when it said it would build a factory in Harrisburg, Pa., but never did. The company thanked Trump for helping but didn’t specify how: “We have long been planning to commit significant resources to grow our U.S. operations and investments, and we made the decision to act on that plan at this time due to the positive pro-business environment that President Trump has created since his election.” Foxconn received $3 billion in incentives from the state of Wisconsin, a cost per job that is six times higher than the national average in a database of similar projects compiled by Tim Bartik of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Claim (Aug. 4, 2017): 4K Jobs Promised
“Toyota & Mazda to build a new $1.6B plant here in the U.S.A. and create 4K new American jobs,” Trump tweeted. “A great investment in American manufacturing!”
Actual: 4K Jobs that Might Come Later
“While we share the President’s goal of growing the economy and job creation,” a Toyota spokeswoman said, “this project came about as Toyota and Mazda discussed various options to collaborate, and we decided to jointly move forward as we believe this will enhance our optimal production structure in North America.” The project received $380 million in state grants and tax credits.
Claim (Oct. 6, 2017): 1K Jobs Promised
“We’re very pleased that just last month Denso announced that it will invest $1 billion to expand its activities in Tennessee… and create over 1,000 new jobs,” Trump said to business leaders in Tokyo on Nov. 6, 2017.
Actual: 1K Jobs were Already Planned
“We’ve been working on this for three years, well before the most recent U.S. election,” a company spokeswoman said. The company also got more than $16 million in tax credits and grants from the county, plus additional incentives from the state and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Claim (Oct. 17, 2017): 1K Jobs Promised
“My administration has also informed Congress of a potential sale to Greece to upgrade its F-16 aircraft,” Trump said at a White House press conference with the Greek prime minister on Oct. 17, 2017. “This agreement to strengthen the Hellenic Air Force is worth up to $2.4 billion and would generate thousands of American jobs.”
Lockheed Martin makes Greece’s F-16s.
Actual: 1K Jobs that Might Come Later
The government is still negotiating the Greek F-16 upgrade.
Claim (Oct. 23, 2017): 70K Jobs Promised
“The order is $13.8 billion and most importantly it’s about 70,000 jobs,” Trump said at a White House signing ceremonywith executives from Boeing and Singapore Airlines. “Those are all jobs in this country… Otherwise we’ll cancel the order.”
Actual: 70K Potential Jobs from Indirect Economic Impact
This isn’t a concrete plan to hire people, it’s an estimate of potential indirect jobs that will be supported, based on a Commerce Department formula and the sticker price of the planes.
Claim (Nov. 2, 2017): “Massive Amounts” of Jobs
“What he’s doing is committing to massive amounts of American jobs,” Trump said of Broadcom’s CEO at a White House event billed as a “jobs announcement.”
Actual: Company Moved Overseas
Broadcom announced it would move its corporate headquarters back from Singapore to the U.S. with no effect on employment. “We do not anticipate the redomiciliation having any impact on our day-to-day business and operations, or affecting employee staffing levels or responsibilities at, or investment in, any of our global locations,” CEO Hock Tan said in a message to employees.
Claim (Nov. 9, 2017): “Thousands” of Jobs
“President Trump promoted American prosperity and trade, including new investments that will employ thousands of American workers,” the White House said on Nov. 10, 2017.
The White House didn’t get more precise than “thousands,” so we went to the underlying announcements from the companies involved.
Actual: 12K Jobs that Might Come Later
This trade mission consisted of several deals that might create jobs in the U.S. if they’re finalized later. Agreements with China Energy, Sinopec, Qualcomm and Viroment are just initial deals to keep talking. The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, which is seeking to develop an LNG terminal in Alaska, said the project would create 9,000 to 12,000 jobs, based on a study for an earlier aborted plan involving ExxonMobil. The company expects 700 to 1,000 jobs during operation. A pair of Viroment deals could create 250 jobs.
Claim (Dec. 20, 2017): “A Lot” of Jobs
“When we began our push for tax cuts, I promised that our bill would result in more jobs, higher wages, and tremendous relief for middle-class families, and that is exactly what we have delivered,” Trump said in a speech in Coraopolis, Pa., on Jan. 18, 2018.
The White House hasn’t made a precise claim about job creation from the tax bill, so we tracked the individual statements from companies.
Actual: 3K New or Saved Jobs; 1K Jobs that Might Come Later; 7K Potential Jobs from Indirect Economic Impact
Scores of companies celebrated corprate tax cuts by announcing one-time bonuses and capital spending, but very few of those announcements involved new jobs. Washington Federal said it’s adding 25 IT jobs, but those were planned regardless of the tax bill. Comcast said it would “add thousands of new direct and indirect jobs,” but quietly cut 500 people. AT&T said that investments related to its planned acquisition of Time Warner would generate an estimated 7,000 jobs, but meanwhile laid off more than 1,000 people. Chrysler added 2,500 jobs.
Claim (Jan. 17, 2018): 20K Jobs Promised
“I promised that my policies would allow companies like Apple to bring massive amounts of money back to the United States. Great to see Apple follow through as a result of TAX CUTS. Huge win for American workers and the USA!” Trump tweeted.
Actual: 20K Jobs that Might Come Later
Apple announced a plan to hire 20,000 people over the next five years. The company wouldn’t comment on whether the jobs are related to the tax bill.
Claim (Jan. 23, 2018): 600 Jobs Promised
Trump imposed a tariff on imported washing machines, saying the measure would support American jobs like the ones that LG is in the process of creating.
“Our action today helps to create jobs in America for Americans. It will provide a strong incentive for LG and Samsung to follow through on their recent promises to build major manufacturing plants for washing machines right here in the United States,” the White House said.
(We reviewed the Samsung plant separately.)
Actual: 600 Jobs were Already Planned
LG began planning a U.S. washing-machine factory about seven years ago. The plan was to employ 600 people when the plant opens in Clarksville, Tenn. (LG received more than $23 million in state, local and Tennessee Valley Authority incentives.) But instead of encouraging LG’s investment, Trump’s tariff might lead to fewer American jobs by hurting demand for the South Korean company’s products. “If this results in a precipitous drop in our market share in the U.S., then when the plant gets up and running, maybe we don’t need 600 employees at the outset, maybe it’s more like 300,” company spokesman John Taylor said. “The irony here is we’re doing exactly what the president wants us to do, which is create good manufacturing jobs in the heartland of America.”
Claim (Jan. 23, 2018): 4K Jobs Promised
JPMorgan announced a $20 billion five-year spending plan that included hiring 4,000 people.
“Tremendous investment by companies from all over the world being made in America. There has never been anything like it. Now Disney, J.P. Morgan Chase and many others. Massive Regulation Reduction and Tax Cuts are making us a powerhouse again. Long way to go! Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!” Trump tweeted.
(Disney announced bonuses but not new jobs.)
Actual: 4K Jobs that Might Come Later
JPMorgan said it will open 400 new branches in the next five years that will directly employ 3,000 people. It will also hire 500 bankers to specialize in small business lending and 500 home lending advisers. The bank said its investments were “made possible by the firm’s strong and sustained business performance, recent changes to the U.S. corporate tax system and a more constructive regulatory and business environment.” The new branch openings are approximately on pace with recent years, while the company’s overall number of locations has actually shrunk because of consolidating other branches.