The Trump administration recently pointed to rising coal mining employment as a sign that the president’s “America First Energy Plan” is already bearing fruit.

But many of those jobs might not actually exist.

Administration officials are citing preliminary estimates of job gains, not hard numbers, as their proof that coal employment is already growing. But the statisticians who come up with the estimates tell people they should not make that claim.

Here’s what Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said last week on the ABC news program “This Week”: “We’ve had over 50,000 jobs since last quarter — coal jobs, mining jobs — created in this country. We had almost 7,000 mining and coal jobs created in the month of May alone.”

“This president’s deregulation agenda, particularly in the energy space, is making a substantial impact on the jobs across this country and giving people hope,” he added.

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