Speed Reads

Trump's big speech

Trump's misleading claim that 94 million Americans are out of the labor force

President Trump claimed during his address to Congress Tuesday that there are 94 million Americans out of the labor force, a number that experts say is misleading. As Politico's Michael Grunwald points out, "the vast majority of them are seniors, students, and the disabled," not the unemployed.

A PolitiFact article from August 31, 2015, also shows that Trump has been making a similar claim for some time. While speaking with Sarah Palin, Trump said that "93 million people" are out of work. "They look for jobs, they give up, and all of a sudden, statistically, they're considered unemployed." Trump's press office did not respond to PolitiFact's request for insight into where he got that number, but they had an idea that it came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported that in July 2015, 92 to 93 million members of the civilian, non-institutionalized population over the age of 16 were not in the labor force. That, however, includes high schoolers who are at least 16, college and grad school students, people with disabilities who are unable to work, stay-at-home parents, and people living off of investments. PolitiFact found that out of those 16 and up classified as "not in the labor force," 9.7 million were between the ages of 16 and 19, while 37.8 million were older than 65. The official number of unemployed Americans at the time was 8.3 million.