Analysis: No, Obama, you presided over a loss of manufacturing jobs, and failed to deliver on exports

So there was a little snark from the White House after President-elect Donald Trump announced he saved about 1,000 jobs in Indiana after negotiating with the air conditioning firm Carrier. “If [Mr. Trump] is successful in doing that 804 more times, then he will meet the record of manufacturing jobs created in the United States while President Obama was in office,” Josh Earnest, the White House’s press secretary said on Tuesday. Except Mr. Obama actually presided over a loss of manufacturing jobs. According to manufacturing employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since Mr. Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. has lost about 303,000 manufacturing jobs. I’m not sure how one even spins that into a positive. Moreover, in his 2012 re-election campaign, Mr. Obama promised to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of this year, and said he was working to double American exports over the next five years, but statistics show he’s fallen short on both measures. Between the time he made the promise and October 2016 (the most recent data available), the number of manufacturing jobs only rose by 297,000 — far below the 1 million jobs he promised. Now on to exports. When Mr. Obama retook office in 2012, U.S. exports were $2.2 trillion. Projections for 2016 are expected to be about $2.2 trillion. So, we’ve gone four years without any material change and we’re a long way off from doubling the number. So, I guess Mr. Trump’s 1,000 saved jobs doesn’t look too bad, after all. He’s not even in office yet.

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