One especially bold number thrown out by candidate Donald Trump has caught a lot of eyes: je promised to create "25 million new jobs over the next decade."
That's a jaw-dropping figure.
Keep in mind that the U.S. labor force numbers around 150 million, per Bureau of Labor Statistics stats. So 25 million new jobs is a jump of over 15% in employed people.
And unemployment stands at about 4.8%, meaning there aren't many hungry and qualified job seekers out there.
Even so, know that at least some experts think the incoming president just may make good on his audacious promise - even if a lot of the job creation happens in unexpected places.
Here is how Trump said he would create those jobs: by jumpstarting economic growth from the projected 2% to 3.5%, maybe 4% annually and, he said, that would be plenty to fuel the promised job growth.
Can it be that easy? Giacomo Santangelo, who teaches economics at Fordham University in New York, said that - given the many promises candidate Trump has made such as steep tax cuts - he did not see how 25 million new jobs could be created. Added Santangelo: "He is not promoting what stimulates growth."
At least that's how textbook economics sees the Trump promise. But with a non-textbook president, maybe other perspectives apply.
"Trump's plan to keep jobs in the U.S. should re-ignite the U.S. manufacturing and production industry in particular," said Steven Lindner, a partner in recruiting company The WorkPlace Group. "Expect to see more career opportunities for electricians, refrigeration, mechanics, machinist and the like. As more workers are added to companies' rosters, more management and senior level job opportunities will develop."
John Boyd, a Princeton, N.J. based business consultant, said similar: "We expect Trump's tax cutting and easing of regulations will unleash a robust round of new corporate investment in industries across the board , including manufacturing. We also suspect that many offshoring projects now in the pipeline will be put on hold until new rules of the road on trade become clear. This is great news for the US economy and the job market."
If Boyd and Lindner are right, that just might mean a lot of new jobs. Said Boyd: "Trump's goal of 25 million new jobs is a very doable benchmark."
But will they be good jobs, the kinds of jobs many in America - blue collar workers in the Rust Belt, inner city residents, Millennials and senior citizens just about everywhere - have said they can't find?
"The real question is not how many jobs will be created but what types of jobs will be created?" said Daniel Walker, former project manager for New York City Economic Development Corporation and now a professor at El Camino College in California. Walker added that what people want are jobs that provide a middle class lifestyle. "Does that job still exist?" Walker said. "Can Trump in fact create more of them?"
Many experts shrug at that question. It's not easy to answer, not this early in the process.
But then there is an unexpected bright spot - a locus of optimism - for Trump's job creation promises. Many have hoped Trump would bring about a renewal of US manufacturing. But he just may also stimulate renewal in neighborhoods that will come as surprises to some.
Said Walker: "Can he rebuilt the inner cities? I have big hopes."
Why? For good reason. Trump is already talking about inner city job creation. "We will have financial reforms to make it easier for young African-Americans to get credit to pursue their dreams in business and create jobs in their communities," Trump said as a candidate.
Those remarks have not gone unnoticed. Over at Rutgers - Newark in New Jersey, Lyneir Richardson, executive director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, whose job is focused on helping inner city entrepreneurs succeed, agreed that Trump might score big successes in job creation in inner cities. Elaborated Richardson: "You could create 5 million new jobs just working with inner city entrepreneurs."
Richardson went on: "I can see how it will be easy to create millions of inner-city jobs that are needed by their communities and that people want to fill," said Richardson. "Trump has the opportunity to do something noteworthy in the inner cities."
Add it up - the cynicism and the optimism - and maybe Trump won't hit 25 million new jobs, maybe he will, but he definitely has a chance to make a difference in inner cities and in manufacturing communities. Does that add up to his promised 25 million jobs? Nobody knows - but a perhaps surprising lot of experts seem to have their fingers crossed and are hoping it all happens.