Fact Check: How Many Jobs Has Trump Created?

Donald Trump, then President-Elect, appears with SoftBank's Masayoshi Son to speak to media in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Donald Trump, then President-Elect, appears with SoftBank's Masayoshi Son to speak to media in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016.

ExxonMobil, led until recently by President Donald Trump's secretary of state, announced a $20 billion, 47,000 jobs investment in America with a press release a little after 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Less than an hour later, Trump applauded the oil giant with effusive tweets and a White House press release remarkably similar to Exxon's own. He also claimed credit for the announcement in a video released on social media.

"This is something that was done to a large extent because of our policies and the policies of this new administration," Trump said in the video. "I said we're bringing back jobs. This is one big example of it."

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But the investment isn't new. At least some of the spending on that $20 billion investment began in 2013, Exxon's press release reveals, and is expected to continue through 2022. One project the company touted has already been completed. Still, Exxon's new CEO specifically praised Trump's administration.

This isn't the first time Trump has claimed credit for job creation and corporate spending that was initiated sometimes years before his presidential run — or that a company has repackaged old news to seem fresh.

"Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs," Trump said during his joint address to Congress.

Here, we fact check the various announcements Trump has sought to take credit for.

Carrier

Just weeks after his election, Trump bragged that he struck a deal with the state of Indiana and Carrier to preserve more than 1,100 jobs that would have otherwise been sent to Mexico. (United Technologies, Carrier's parent company, had previously said 2,100 total jobs would go to Mexico from two different facilities — the Carrier plant, and a United Technologies Electronics Controls facility.)

The company received $7 million in tax incentives over a decade, and credited Trump for his job-saving prowess.

But the numbers tell a different story. Trump's deal saved 800 jobs or fewer, according to union officials, and around 350 of those jobs had not been slated to leave. Amid the fanfare, Carrier announced that they'd send other jobs — 600, by one estimate — to Mexico. Another 700 jobs from the UTEC facility will also be outsourced.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? Yes, but not the more than 1,000 he claimed.

Ford

In November, Trump boasted that he had "worked hard" to keep Ford's Lincoln plant in Kentucky, but the plant wasn't going anywhere.

Ford had been investing in the plant for years, and while the company had considered moving production of a single model of Lincoln to an existing Mexican plant to make room for production of another car, the company says it wouldn't have had an impact on jobs in either country. They did say their decision not to shift car production did have something to do with Trump, however.

In January, the company ditched plans for a new $1.6 billion Ford Focus plant in Mexico, saying it would keep the car's production at an existing Mexican plant. It also announced a $700 million investment in an existing Michigan plant to build more electric vehicles, creating 700 more jobs in the United States. The company stressed that it didn't cut a deal with the president, and that its decisions were rooted in business priorities rather than politics. However, Ford did say that the decision meant a "vote of confidence" in Trump's pro-business policy plans.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? When it comes to jobs in the Lincoln plant, no. Trump may have had a hand in Ford's decision to invest more dollars in the U.S., but the carmaker has refuted the notion that it was a direct result of his presidency.

Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler announced in early January that they'd invest $1 billion in plants in Warren, Ohio and Toledo, Ohio, adding 2,000 jobs. Trump took credit for the announcement in his joint address, but Fiat Chrysler said the deal arose from talks with United Auto Workers and that the plans predated then President-elect Trump to decisions made in 2015.

"I wish I could give him credit for this," Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters recently. "But the thinking was in place beforehand."

Marchionne did say that the company would need clarity from the president before making any production decisions about Mexico.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? Not yet, according to the company's CEO.

General Motors

General Motors announced a $1 billion investment in January alongside the creation or retention of 1,500 manufacturing jobs, the return of 450 jobs from Mexico, and the addition of 5,000 jobs "over the next few years" in finance and technology.

GM officials stressed that the decision dates back as early as 2014, long before Trump got involved and threatened a "big border tax" for the company because it imports several thousand hatchbacks to the U.S. from Mexico. GM CEO Mary Barra, who is on Trump's economic advisory council, said the firm had no plans to alter their manufacturing plans to please the president.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? Nope.

Sprint/OneWeb/SoftBank

Trump took credit for Sprint's plant to bring 5,000 jobs back to the United States — "because of me they are doing 5,000 jobs in this country," he said — as well as the 3,000 jobs OneWeb said they'd add, and the $50 billion investment by SoftBank that fueled both firms' job growth. Trump met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son in December.

Sprint and OneWeb confirmed later that the job growth had been previously announced, and SoftBank said the investment had been in the works since October as part of SoftBank's promised 50,000 new jobs. There is some indication that SoftBank's CEO increased the size of the investment in OneWeb and the number of new hires, however.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? Possibly. It's clear that the investment was already happening, though Trump may have helped boost it.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed announced 1,800 new jobs before Trump even took office, as part of a deal they were working out with the Pentagon for fighter jets. The government contractor later credited Trump for the deal, as well as the cost-cutting measures Trump gave himself credit for, but experts say both things had been in the works for awhile. No matter the favor they may be trying to curry with the new president, taxpayer savings and new jobs aren't his doing completely.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? Trump's administration inked the deal a few weeks into his term and Lockheed did credit him, but Trump didn't sew this deal together himself.

Intel

After meeting with Trump in February, Intel pledged to commit $7 billion to build a new factory in Arizona, hiring at least 3,000 employees. Intel's CEO credited Trump with the move, despite the fact that Intel's domestic investment had been in the works for years; construction on a factory began in 2011, though it was delayed when demand decreased.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? Intel says he helped create jobs, but their investment had been in the works (though delayed) since 2011.

Walmart

In January, Walmart said they'd add 10,000 jobs. Trump thanked them in a tweet, but the jobs had been previously announced in October as part of a $6.8 billion capital-spending plan.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? There's no evidence that he had any impact here.

Alibaba

The Chinese e-commerce giant's founder, Jack Ma, met with Trump in January, announcing that Alibaba helped create 1 million jobs in the United States. Trump said the group wasn't considering doing that before he got elected, but the company's founder has been talking about it for years.

Asked if he and Trump had talked about that investment, Ma said "no." The Washington Post reported that the numbers don't add up: it's unlikely that the tech giant with just 35,000 employees can grow so quickly in the U.S.

Did Trump help save or create jobs? Trump is taking credit for jobs that appear to have been in the works before that he didn't specifically discuss with the group's founder while experts doubt the reality of such investment. We'll have to wait and see on this one.