Donald Trump has bragged about reports about the number of private sector jobs created in the US economy in January – but got the figure wrong.
In his weekly broadcast on Facebook Live, the President said the number of private sector January which had been added was 237,000 – an inflation of 10,000 on the actual figure of 227,000.
He put the increase, which he said had “surpassed expectations for January”, down to the “spirit our country now has” since his inauguration on 20th January.
He said he was doing all he could to cut red tape and boasted about signing an executive order which said for each new regulation created by federal authorities two old regulations must be scrapped.
“It’s going to be a whole new ball game. But there is still much work to do, that I can tell you”, he said.
During the campaign, Mr Trump dismissed the figures, published monthly by the US Labor Department, as a “phoney” and “one of the biggest hoaxes”.
The former reality star added that “labour force participation also grew so you can be encouraged by the progress of our economy” but the t figures showed although jobs grew wages remained stagnated.
Although the increase was the largest gain in four months the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent and wages increased by only three cents, suggesting that there was still some slack in the labour market.
Few economists saw Mr Trump’s optimism about the economy.
Several analysts say an unemployment rate that low means that so many people who want jobs already have them that eventually hiring will slow naturally — a trend that's usually beyond the direct influence of a president.
"It's inevitable that the pace of gains will slow because there's almost no one left to hire to put into new jobs," said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at the jobs site Glassdoor.com.
Mr Trump hasn't enjoyed the smoothest of policy roll-outs in the two weeks since his inauguration.
The result has been some uncertainty about the economy and about the likelihood that he can generate his promised surge in hiring.
He has pledged to add 25 million jobs over 10 years, which translates into roughly 208,000 new jobs each month.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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