Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bashing Texas, What are the numbers?

So now that Rick Perry has declared his candidacy for governor, it has suddenly become popular to bash the Texas economy. Since I am not one to take claims of political attack dogs at face value, let's take a look at some of the most common anti-Texas rhetoric.

First up is Rick Newman: of US News and World Report:
"Perry's No. 1 talking point as a presidential candidate is job creation in Texas. He claims correctly that Texas has created more than one-third of all jobs in the country since the economic recovery began in mid-2009. What he doesn't mention is that virtually all of that job creation was in government, not in private industry.

Here are the numbers, which come from the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics: Between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2010 (the latest data available), Texas created about 75,000 jobs. That makes it one of the few states with any job creation at all over that time. But federal, state and local government hiring accounted for 115,000 new jobs in Texas, while private industry shed about 40,000 jobs."
Unfortunately, Mr. Newman does not link to a source for this attack making his numbers hard, but not impossible to verify. So I do, via the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site, selecting the data for Texas only. The first issue with Mr. Newman's data is we do have data through May and preliminary data for June. For some reason, he chooses to not get the latest data. That's OK, I can pull it for him. The government worker data is here. So, a simple table compares Dec-07 numbers to Dec-10 and the latest data from May-11. Guess, what? Private sector jobs were created and even more if compared with the most up-to-date figures!



So what is going on here? Bad math or some other issue? I am not sure and have published these numbers as a comment on Mr. Newman's blog.

Another way to look at government employee data is as a percentage of the total labor force. Notice how the line is very flat except in 2010 which is census hiring. The percentage since Dec-2010 is going downwards.

I wonder if Mr. Newman would like to compare Texas to Illinios over the same time period. Which state do you think would look better?

3 Comments:

At Saturday, August 20, 2011 9:13:00 AM, Blogger jimlynch9999 said...

Dead link to government numbers.

 
At Saturday, August 20, 2011 3:09:00 PM, Blogger Dale Furrow said...

Good numbers, well-presented, thanks for helping push against the tide of Texas-bashing. Perry can stand or fall on his own merits, but this State is a successful model in many respects--and that story needs to be told accurately.

 
At Saturday, October 01, 2011 7:34:00 AM, Blogger JimVAT said...

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/dsrv?la is the link to the government numbers. The link works for me.

 

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