Trump touts economic successes, including record-low unemployment among African Americans


President Trump on Saturday touted the country’s economic successes during his first year in office, highlighting a record-low jobless rate among African Americans.

“The African American unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, the lowest rate in 45 years,” Trump tweeted. “I am so happy about this News!”

The post also mentioned that The Washington Post, which Trump frequently accuses of publishing “fake” or unfairly critical news about his presidency, recongized his economic success.

“And, in the Washington Post (of all places), headline states, ‘Trumps first year jobs numbers were very, very good.’ “

The unemployment rate for African-Americans fell to 6.8 percent in December, the lowest level since the government began tracking such data in 1972. 

Trump has also touted the stock markets’ continued success, which adds to many Americans’ investment and retirement accounts, including their 401k plans.

The Dow Jones industrial average this week broke the 25,000 mark, after closing last year with a more than 25-percent gain.

The reasons for the lower jobless rate among African-Americans range from a greater number with college degrees to a growing need for employers in a tight job market to widen the pool of people from which they hire.

Still, the rate for black workers remains well above those for whites and some other groups, something experts attribute in large part to decades of discrimination and disadvantages.

Robust job creation has lowered unemployment for all Americans. U.S. employers added nearly 2.1 million jobs in 2017 — the seventh straight year that hiring has topped 2 million. The U.S. economy gained a hefty 5.7 million jobs in 2014 and 2015 alone.

But there are other factors impacting the lower unemployment rates: Fewer Americans are either working or looking for work. (People who aren’t actively seeking a job aren’t counted as unemployed.) An aging population means there are more retirees. Young Americans are also staying in school longer before job-hunting.

And some people, perhaps discouraged about their prospects, have given up looking for work and so aren’t included in the unemployment rate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.