Trump is bragging about bringing back manufacturing -- but factories are still bleeding jobs
US President Donald Trump speaks about the impeachment inquiry during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas (AFP Photo/MANDEL NGAN)

President Donald Trump is telling voters that he's led a complete revitalization of manufacturing jobs in the United States -- even though the reality is factories are still shedding jobs.

Politico reports that while Trump has been touting a "manufacturing miracle" on the campaign trail, the recession caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic has led domestic manufacturers to cut back on jobs and invest more in automation technology.

"Manufacturing across the U.S. is still down 720,000 workers from February despite gaining 29,000 jobs in August, with the pandemic more than wiping out the overall modest gains of 500,000 from Trump's first three years in office -- about the same pace of growth as under President Barack Obama," Politico reports.

The pandemic has proven particularly tough for manufacturing employees, who can't do their jobs from home and who have difficulty maintaining social distance when they are at work.

Mark Muro, an economist at the Brookings Institution, tells Politico that there is simply no way to square the president's claims about manufacturing with the facts on the ground.

"In recessions of any kind, automation is accelerated because paying workers just becomes more expensive," Muro said. "Meanwhile, technology and automation has improved and gotten cheaper so it’s easily used."