If Trump succeeds at creating factory jobs he will be bucking a long-standing trend. The president claims he can bring jobs back by renegotiating trade deals. Economists are skeptical.

February was a good start, with 28,000 manufacturing jobs created, the best result for the sector in over a year. Yet, again, this sort of monthly growth wasn’t unheard of during Obama’s final term.

Black unemployment

Trump is obsessed with black unemployment. He tweeted about it several times long before becoming a presidential candidate, and during his campaign misleadingly said unemployment for black youth is 59% (the correct number is less than half of that).

Over the past decade, the gap between the black unemployment rate and the national average has ranged between 3% and 7%. Trump believes he can close this gap. He promised a “new deal for black America” that includes policies to improve safety, education, and job opportunities in majority black communities.

The February numbers look like a step backwards. While estimates of the unemployment rate for white, Asian, and Hispanic Americans all fell, the estimate for African Americans rose in February, from 7.7% to 8.1%. That widened the gap with the national average to 3.4%, from 2.9%.

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