We all understood why the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) didn’t join a standing ovation when the president falsely insisted during his State of the Union address Tuesday that he, himself, brought the historically high Black unemployment rate down to an all-time low. But the group of influential African-American politicians may have also remained stone-faced and seated because they expected the inevitable – for the rate to go back up.
And so it’s no wonder that Trump’s Twitter fingers have been silent about Black unemployment since Friday morning, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced in its latest report that the rate of jobless African-Americans skyrocketed nearly one full percentage point in January compared to the month before.
In case you’re keeping score, that type of rise is nearly unprecedented and was “the biggest spike in Black unemployment” in more than five years.
In fact, it was kind of like “deja vu all over again,” considering Trump bragged back in September about the “lowest unemployment [for Blacks] since just after the turn of the millennium.” But the August jobs report to which he was referring actually showed a rise in Black unemployment from the month before. Doh!
According to BLS, the Black unemployment rate in January was at 7.7 percent. That was in comparison to a rate of 6.8 percent in December. The announcement stands in sharp contrast to when Trump proudly proclaimed Tuesday night that, “Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. “It’s something I’m very proud of. African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded.”
Two days later he was taking his latest shots at the CBC and other Democrats, according to the Washington Post.
“When I made that statement the other night, there was zero movement from the Democrats. They sat there stone cold, no smile, no applause. You would’ve thought that on that one, they would’ve sort of at least clapped a little bit,” Trump said Thursday. “Which tells you perhaps they’d rather see us not do well than see our country do great, and that’s not good. That’s not good.”
But what’s also not good is premature bragging from a person who remains unqualified to do a job which Russian hackers may have helped him get. As such, the Washington Post offered Trump a bit of unsolicited advice that, if history is any indication, he will not heed:
“These numbers can change quickly, and if you take credit for every shift in a positive direction, you could justifiably face criticism for shifts in the other direction.”