July 15, 2020 at 1:29 AM EDT
Faulty data collection raises questions about Trump’s claims on PPP program
A trove of data on $517 billion in emergency small-business loans contains numerous errors that cast doubt on the Trump administration’s jobs claims and obscure the real economic impact of the program, according to a Washington Post analysis and interviews with bankers and borrowers.
A Post analysis of data on 4.9 million loans released last week by the Small Business Administration shows that many companies are reported to have “retained” far more workers than they employ. Likewise, in some cases the agency’s jobs claim for entire industries surpasses the total number of workers in those sectors.
The flaws raise questions about the claims by the Trump administration that 51 million jobs were “supported” by the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has been a rare bright spot for the administration at a time of a surging coronavirus pandemic and a suddenly stalling economic recovery.
By Jonathan O’Connell, Emma Brown, Steven Rich and Aaron Gregg