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2011 Archives

Texas-Size Recovery: The facts behind job growth in the Lone Star State.

Excerpt

The following is from the August 31, 2011, edition of FactCheck. Bernard Weinstein, an economist and associate director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, provided expertise for this story.

September 2, 2011

Presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry has boasted of significant job growth in his state in the past few years. And for good reason: It's true. While Texas clearly hasn't avoided the recession, the state has done well in terms of increasing jobs, when compared with the recovery nationally.

Perry's claim that "40 percent … of all the jobs in America were created in Texas" since June 2009 is accurate. But it’s also true that the increase in jobs hasn't kept pace with the rise in the state's population — so the number of jobless Texans also has risen, along with the state’s unemployment rate. And Texas is tied with Mississippi for the highest percentage of hourly workers paid at or below the minimum wage.

Texas job statistics are a mixed bag. Perry’s supporters and Perry’s detractors select the statistics that suit their spin. Here we'll just lay out a balanced look at the facts — good and bad alike — and leave the spin to others. . .

Perry's record is part of a long-term trend. Texas has done well in the jobs department for decades. "This point goes neglected," says Bernard L. Weinstein, professor of business economics in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "Yes, Texas has created more jobs than any other state" in the last two years. "But that’s been true since 1970. For the last 41 years Texas has added more jobs than any other state, and in most years, has led the nation in job creation," Weinstein told us. "So Gov. Perry can claim that these jobs were created on his watch, but they were created on everybody else’s watch too."

Read the full story.

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