In a recent tweet, the West Virginia Republican Party offered an example of how well the national economy is performing.
On Aug. 10, the party tweeted, “ICYMI: For only the second time since 2000, there are more job openings than Americans who are unemployed. Tax reform and a pro-growth agenda have unleashed America’s economic engine. #WVGOP #WVComeBack”
ICYMI: For only the second time since 2000, there are more job openings than Americans who are unemployed. Tax reform and a pro-growth agenda have unleashed America’s economic engine. #WVGOP #WVComeBack pic.twitter.com/ZgZP9gmaI2
— WVGOP (@WVGOP) August 11, 2018
Is this correct?
We turned to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official federal data source for employment figures. The bureau collects both statistics — job openings and unemployed workers.
We produced a chart to show how those trend lines interact:
The chart makes it clear: For the first time since both statistics were recorded at the same time, the number of job openings, shown in blue, has exceeded the number of unemployed workers, in red, in recent months.
This was the case in March, April, May and June. So the tweet understated the number of times, but was otherwise accurate.
The West Virginia Republican Party tweeted, “For only the second time since 2000, there are more job openings than Americans who are unemployed.”
In March, April, May and June, the number of job openings was higher than the number of unemployed Americans — the first time since that has happened since both statistics were calculated.
That’s four times rather than two, so the tweet actually undersold the accomplishment. We rate the statement True.
This report was written by a student at West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media as part of a semester-long collaboration between the college, Politifact and 100 Days in Appalachia. It was originally published by Politifact.