Donald Trump loves to appeal to his core demographic of blue collar, non-college educated whites, and Monday was no exception. He continued his long litany of economic doom and gloom, this time speaking about the state of wages in the US, saying that “blue collar workers haven’t been taken care of.”
“On average, people 18 years ago were making more than they’re making today and they’re working harder today,” he continued. “And in many cases they — and to a large extent because of this horrible Obamacare — in many cases they’re working two jobs.”
There are three statements of fact there. USA TODAY did a great fact check of these statements, so let’s dig in.
People 18 years ago were making more than they’re making today – Wages for “non-supervisory” or “blue collar” workers have increased by 11% in the last 18 years. Wages for these workers are up 2.5% from this time last year and up 4.5% from this time two years ago. Here’s a graph from the
They’re working harder today – While it is tough to quantify how hard someone works, it is not tough to quantify how long they work. And Trump is way off by this measure. Weekly hours for blue collar workers are down 2.6% from 1998, from 34.5 hours per week in 1998 to 33.6 hours per week in August of 2016.
Many people working two jobs because of this horrible Obamacare – In August of 2016, 4.8% of the US workforce was holding down two jobs. This is the exact same percentage that had two jobs in December of 2013, the month before Obamacare went into effect. Two job workers are significantly down from 2008 when Obama took office, which were then 5.2% of all workers. Here’s a graph from the good people at the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
So not exactly surprising that Donald Trump gets his facts wrong in an appeal to his supporters. But three easily debunked yet complete falsehoods in one breath is an impressive feat of dishonesty, even for a world champion liar like Donald Trump.