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Ivanka Trump makes bogus claim about labor force participation rate

"People who have been out of the workforce are coming back off the sidelines."

CREDIT: SCREENGRAB
CREDIT: SCREENGRAB

During an interview on Fox Business that aired over the weekend, White House adviser Ivanka Trump touted the Trump administration’s stewardship of the economy, telling host Maria Bartiromo that “I think one of the tremendous opportunities that we’re seeing because the economy is so strong is that people who have been out of the workforce are coming back off the sidelines.”

“And this is something we’re working incredibly hard to incentive, because there is a large population of prime-age men and women who are out of the workforce, and who are now slowly starting to return,” Ivanka added. “And we’re seeing that.”

Ivanka’s comment might lead you to believe that the labor force participation rate — a statistic which tracks the percentage of people 16 and over who are actively seeking work and employed — has gone up since her father took office in January 2017. But that’s not the case.

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According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force participation rate has actually fallen from 62.9 percent in January 2017 to 62.7 in May of this year. So Ivanka’s claim about workers “coming back off the sidelines” thanks to the Trump administration’s economic policies is false.

CREDIT: BLS
CREDIT: BLS

Ivanka wasn’t the only Trump administration official to spread misinformation in TV interviews that aired on Fox Business over the weekend. As ThinkProgress detailed, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow bragged to Bartiromo that the federal deficit is “coming down rapidly.” In fact, the opposite is true — thanks in part to Trump’s tax cuts, the deficit is increasing, and is projected to do so well into the future.

When Trump administration officials weren’t gaslighting, they were obfuscating. During a CNN interview on Friday evening, White House Council of Economics Advisers Chair Kevin Hassett was pressed on how only four percent of the American workforce has received a raise since Trump’s tax cuts were signed into law six months ago. Hassett replied by pointing out that workers at Walmart, at least, have gotten raises that amount to $4,000 per year.