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Where Did Trump Dig Up 45,000 Mining Jobs?

Trump says there's 45K new coal jobs. Federal data says there's just 800 new ones.
Image: Miner Story
A coal miner walks beside the rail car track at the North River No. 1 Mine, on January 5, 2006 in Berry, Alabama. FileRob Carr / AP File

President Donald Trump boasted Monday that the nation added 45,000 mining jobs recently — but there's scant data to back that up. One thing there is evidence for: Only 800 coal mining jobs have been created during his tenure.

"In Pennsylvania, two weeks ago, they opened a mine, the first mine that was opened in decades....Well, we picked up 45,000 mining jobs in a very short period of time," Trump said during an event pegged to American manufacturing. "Everybody was saying, 'Well, you won’t get any mining jobs,' we picked up 45,000 mining jobs. Well, the miners are very happy with Trump and with Pence, and we’re very proud of that."

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed to bring back coal jobs and attacked Hillary Clinton for turning her back on the industry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates there are roughly 50,800 coal mining jobs nationwide, 800 of which have been added since Trump took office. (The six months before that, under President Barack Obama’s administration, 1,300 coal jobs were added.)

This isn't the first time we've heard Trump's numbers. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt made a similar claim speaking about all mining and logging jobs earlier this year, earning a PolitiFact ruling of "mostly false."

BLS data estimates the nation has added roughly 41,500 new mining and logging jobs in the first six months of 2017, but just 1,000 of them are mining (not including oil and gas mining jobs, which account for another couple thousand.)

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

The coal industry often creates spinoff jobs as mining towns need doctors, schools and diners, for instance. There are notably many truck drivers, electricians and other professionals working with coal companies whose livelihood depends on coal production, but these jobs are not counted in federal BLS data on coal mining, according to Terry Headley, communications director for the American Coal Council.

The Pennsylvania mine opening that Trump touted on Monday is expected to create 70 jobs.