Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has debunked US jobless figure, estimated at 5 per centU.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics.
He told Washington Post editors that the figure should be higher than 20 per cent, a claim that may open him to fresh attacks from the Barack Obama presidency.
“We’re not at 5 percent unemployment,” Trump said.
“We’re at a number that’s probably into the twenties if you look at the real number,” he said, adding that the official jobless figure is “statistically devised to make politicians — and in particular presidents — look good.”
He predicted that the United States is on course for a “very massive recession,” warning that a combination of high unemployment and an overvalued stock market had set the stage for another economic slump.
Trump said “it’s a terrible time right now” to invest in the stock market, offering a more bleak view of the U.S. economy than that held by many mainstream economists.
“I think we’re sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble,” the billionaire businessman said in an interview with The Washington Post published on Saturday.
Coming off a tough week on the campaign trail in which he made a series of missteps, Trump’s latest comments bring him back into the limelight ahead of Tuesday’s important primary in Wisconsin where he trails in the polls.
The interview was bylined by the Post’s Robert Costa and famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward.
Trump vowed in the interview to wipe out the more than $19 trillion national debt “over a period of eight years,” helped by a renegotiation of trade deals.
“I’m renegotiating all of our deals, the big trade deals that we’re doing so badly on,” he said.