Thursday, August 18, 2011

Perry's "Texas Miracle"? Not Quite

If Gov. Rick Perry (TX) becomes the Republican presidential candidate, you’ll hear a lot about the “Texas miracle” in job creation. Don’t believe it. Massimo Calabresi points out that the supposed jobs surge has come with an unemployment surge; viewed in balance, the stats aren't impressive for the Lone Star State:

The Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial last Friday touted “The Lone Star Jobs Surge” and reported, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers via the Dallas Federal Reserve, that “37% of all net new American jobs since the recovery began were created in Texas.” Texas has created 265,000 “net new jobs” since the recession ended in June 2009 through April 2011, the Journal reported.

Texas’ unemployment rate tells a different story. It has gone up from 7.7% to 8.0% over that same period. And by that measure, Texas has done worse than the rest of the country since the peak of national unemployment in October 2009: that month the U.S. rate was 10.1% and Texas was 8.2%. Texas peaked at 8.3% last December, dropping to 8.0% in April, while the national rate has dropped a point since it’s [sic] peak to 9.1%

Think Progress featured a chart based on findings of the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that Texas is last in job creation relative to labor force expansion:

Though Think Progress cites net jobs statistics that differ from those quoted by Calabresi, both reach the same conclusion:

Clearly, there is no miracle for Texas here. While over 126,000 net jobs were created in Texas over the last two and a half years, the labor force expanded by over 437,000, meaning that overall Texas has added unemployed workers at a rate much faster than it has created jobs.

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