Trump’s Job-Growth Claims at GM, Wal-Mart Don’t Stack Up

  • Some claims of adding workers predated November’s election
  • Large companies have announced total of more than 200,000 jobs

GM Investing $1B in U.S., Announces 7,000 Jobs

President-elect Donald Trump has made job creation one of his signature issues, setting off a flurry of corporate pledges to hire more workers. But not every job-growth announcement stacks up.

For many companies, including General Motors Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., new promises to add jobs are repackaged versions of plans that were already in place before the election. They would have been carried out regardless of who’s living in the White House, analysts say.

Wal-Mart, for instance, touted a plan to open almost 60 stores that it had previously announced. That won the retail giant -- the nation’s largest private employer -- a thumbs-up from Trump, who tweeted that the company was helping start “the big jobs push back into the U.S.!”

In all, companies such as Wal-Mart, Amazon.com Inc. and Sprint Corp. have announced a total of more than 200,000 “new” jobs since the election. But less than half appear to be the real deal. And even if Trump was responsible for all of them, that would amount to relatively little for the U.S. overall -- about 0.1 percent of the nation’s 145 million employees.

Still, some executives aren’t bothered if Trump wants to take credit.

“Not at all,” said Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which this month announced the addition of 2,000 jobs -- under a contract negotiated in 2015. “I share his enthusiasm about the commitment that he’s making to this country.”

Date

Company

Jobs

Credit to Trump?

Reality

Jan. 17, 2017General Motors7,000NopeGM’s $1 billion U.S. investment plan includes retaining some jobs that already exist, and the total plan is less than last year’s $2.9 billion program.
Jan. 17, 2017Wal-Mart10,000NopeA $6.8 billion U.S. spending plan was already announced, though the jobs total -- 10,000 retail positions -- wasn’t specified.
Jan. 17, 2017Bayer3,000YepFollowing a meeting with Trump, Bayer pledged $8 billion in U.S. investment and new jobs at Monsanto Co. should a planned merger win approval.
Jan. 13, 2017Lockheed Martin1,800YepCEO Marillyn Hewson pledged new jobs at a Texas plant where the F-35 fighter jet is assembled.
Jan. 12, 2017Amazon.com100,000Probably notAmazon already had an aggressive growth plan and was hiring more than 6,000 people globally each month in 2015.
Jan. 8, 2017Fiat Chrysler2,000NopeThe company said the jobs were a product of ongoing talks with the UAW.
Jan. 3, 2017Ford700YepFord will invest $700 million in Michigan plant, creating the new jobs, which CEO Mark Fields called a “vote of confidence” in Trump.
Dec. 28, 2016Sprint5,000NopeThe jobs being created or brought back are part of parent SoftBank’s previously announced 50,000 jobs.
Dec. 13, 2016IBM25,000NopeIBM said the plan was under way well before the election.
Dec. 6, 2016SoftBank50,000Probably notSoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son’s pledge to create the jobs under a $50 billion investment will come from a previously announced $100 billion fund.
Dec. 1, 2016Carrier1,100Yes, but...Carrier will keep about 700-800 jobs that had been slated to move to Mexico, but 300 were never going to go. More than 1,000 jobs will still move.
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