Is Texas Responsible for Half the Country's Job Growth?

job growth They say that everything comes a little larger in Texas. And for the last decade, the creation of jobs has been as fundamental an aspect of the oversize Lone Star culture as the roasts on the ranch.

There's no more powerful political weapon in America than a record of generating jobs, and Republican governors have embraced the Texas example as their own. Taking to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, Virginia Governor Bob McConnell, the current vice chair of the Republican Governors Association, says observers should have little difficulty spotting the winner over a decade that has seen its fair share of challenges, from September 11 to the financial crisis.

"Look no further than growing and diverse Texas, a state Democrats targeted in 2010, where data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that under Gov. Rick Perry's leadership the state has created more jobs over the last decade than the rest of the states combined. That's a record of job creation the Obama administration can only dream about," he wrote in his essay published on June 25.

Perry, currently considering a run for the White House, has led Texas since 2001, when he took over from George W. Bush, who left Austin to become the 43rd president.

The claim of "more jobs over the last decade than the rest of the states combined" is based on the following data analysis: Texas had a net gain of 907,000 jobs between December 2000 and December 2010. The entire payroll in the U.S. grew by 1.6 million jobs during the span, as PolitiFact, the fact-check project, puts it.

"Texas is quite a low-regulation state. It's cheaper to do business here than quite a few other states," Mine Yucel, senior economist and vice president with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas says in an interview with ABC News.

The nation's woes at the gas pump are also being credited for boosting the Texan economy. Just two years ago, in 2009, the average price of gas was $2.35 per gallon. That figure now stands at $3.60, providing additional revenue for the state.

Observers are also tipping their hat to Perry, with a specific nod to the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) he created in 2003. The low-tax incentives program established by the TEF has helped generate 58,000 jobs, according to ABC News. Indeed, the state's drive to diversify its workforce into private sector categories including financial and technology services has also been lauded for helping spur the jobs growth.

But while few would outright deny the Texas success story, critics are saying the reality is cause for more of a Texas mosey than a full-on cowboy swagger.

For its part, PolitiFact takes issue with the "more than the rest of the states combined" contention. The reality of the claim is that it only holds up when comparing Texas to states that have also had a net positive job gain over the last decade, leaving out the other 31 states of the Union. So while California may not be in the black since 2000, it has no doubt seen job growth in many sectors. (Just 10 years ago, "facebook" was not a company creating jobs in Silicon Valley, but a hardcover book of profile pictures given to college freshmen.)

Commentators are taking pains to question the claim, surely to be used in any presidential run by Rick Perry.

"To say it's misleading is to be kind," Michael Brandl, a professor at the University of Texas-Austin's business school, has told PolitiFact in the past. "It's just not true."

Moreover, critics also say that the jobs numbers must be appreciated in the context of other economic factors in Texas. The rule requiring the budget to be balanced every two years has led to cuts in education and public services at a similarly Texas-sized clip.

Indeed, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured workers in the nation at 27.4%, according to research conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in conjunction with the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota.

Such a stat certainly forces the classic Texas question about those bragging of the state's success: Are they all cattle or just all hat?


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ruthsgardens

And I forgot to say when a company hires more workers and cuts your hours to less than 40,they don't have to pay pension or medical benefits.Of course if a company doesn't have to pay you legacy costs,they can hire more workers.It is called "cheap labor." So why are you complaining about closing the borders? What,you don't want to compete with mexicans making 4 bucks an hour while you make 7.65 bucks an hour? Nvermind.Be anti-union and struggleAmerican workers began unionizing in the middle 1800's.Do you think you know something now that they didn't know then working for slave wages? I know.Give one for the Gipper.Work for less so the companies ceos can make more.Makes a lot of sense.

July 11 2011 at 4:00 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
ruthsgardens

Only one post got it right that I read.Even the words of Perry himself saying,"Smaller wage cuts keep employers from laying off workers." The de-unionization of workers by Koch Industries and other large corporations are the ones doing this.Oh yeah,the union workers are the bad guys.The unions are mafia run.I have heard it all.Unions are american workers who utilized their right under federal law to unionize for better wages,pensions and benfits.Now take Koch Industries for an example.They were the second largest privately owned corporation in the world until Walmart came along.Oh Geez.Walmart is anti-union to.Now Koch's wages are around 12-14 bucks an hour tops.That has gone down since the 90's.Minimum wage is 7.65 dollars.So now think for a minute.If you had that job at 12 bucks an hour,96 bucks a day,480 a week minus taxes would leave you less than 300 a week.1200 a month take home.So what is your rent or house payment? 600-700 leaving 500,Car insurance?150+ a month leaving 350-400.Car payment? Say you own a clunker.Electricity 150-200.Leaves you 200+.Water 30 bucks leaving 170+. Gas for house? Sewage,garbage pickup,gas for auto? And how could I forget food,clothing,Now I didn't include internet,house insurance,emission testing,plates,cable,phone or cell phone,expenditures for kids going to school,college tuition.But most of all I forgot healthcare and dental which americans will have to pull 13% out of their pocket on top of all of this to pay for it.

July 11 2011 at 3:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
drewwtx

I for one am glad I live in Texas and never want to move. Texas has opportunities that not many states can provide. I for one found a great job immediately after graduating college and this was during the height of the recession. I live in Austin and think its the greatest little big city on Earth. The only reason this state has a problem with high number of uninsured and lower education rankings are because of the people fleeing Mexico because of the drug cartel problems that come here and have children on US soil in hopes of the whole family becoming US citizens. They use our schools, or healthcare facilities and cause a burden because they can't pay for the public services they use. Texas would be in even better shape if our southern border was better protected. If we didn't balance the budget every two years then it really would be a mess. Dont be fooled by the goofball currently in the White House. If he fully has things his way our society would resemble Animal Farm.

July 11 2011 at 1:21 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to drewwtx's comment
tbird57lover

I'm with you 100%.........You hit the nail on the head, so to speak! Isn't Austin great? I lived there for 9 years up until 6 years ago and miss it terribly.

July 11 2011 at 1:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mesager42

We all know that the all of the power witin the state of Texas lies in its legislature. The governor of Texas is mostly a figurehead with little power to do anything. Electing Rick Perry would be tantamount to electing another inept George W. Bush. No more Texans in the White House in this century!

July 11 2011 at 1:14 AM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mesager42's comment
ricksophie

I will be willing to trade, your governor for California’s governor (Democ-rat) Jerry Brown.. Maybe all the jobs leaving California and moving to Texas will come back.

July 11 2011 at 1:53 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
meonly1130

Glad to see a little myth busting here. The jobs created are largely low wage, no benefits jobs. And government employees, local, school, and state, are about to take a large hit because this state doesn't believe in paying for needed services, so all those lost incomes will "trickle down" so maybe even the Walmart and Target clerk jobs and day care worker positions that have been created during the Perry years will also go by the wayside.

Bablcksheep is exactly right...it has gotten moer backward in the 30 years I've lived here.

July 11 2011 at 12:54 AM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
bablcksheep

I am a native Texan also-lived in the Dallas area for the first 30 yrs or so of my life & went to school at UT in Austin. I lived in Florida & New York for the subsequent 20 yrs or so. I only returned to Texas a few yrs ago .
In all honesty, this place is generally as backward or more backward than when I was growing up here many decades ago, & believe me, that is saying something. Before ,it was mainly the Christian fundamentalists who were a source of ignorance & intolerance, but now, it's the right wingers also.

The "pro business" climate just means they get tax breaks & perks to move here-which, at least indirectly, the puiblic pays for. Low wages, pollution are part of the price the public pays also. Property tax cuts ,used to seduce voters , have resulted in school budget slashing, & cuts to programs for those most in need

Surely, after the GW Bush presidency, the nation has learned a lesson . Perry is a Bush crony. You might as well just ask W if he'd like another term as President .
Texas is no paradise & ranks near the bottom for it's educational system . As I recall, it is also near the top for the number of people living in poverty & without health insurance.
Theres a heck of a lot more to quality of life for the average citizen than the "pro business' climate, but it's great if youre JR Ewing or a country club fat cat or with BIG OIL.

July 11 2011 at 12:28 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bablcksheep's comment
tbird57lover

I don't believe you're a Texan! A native Texan would never say the things you have said about their beloved state. They have a saying there.....when you're born they implant a homing device, which is why no matter where Texans move, they just have to return someday. :-) I lived there for 23 years, and if not for the weather I would live in beautiful Austin in a New York minute! One of the last places on planet earth with any common sense!

July 11 2011 at 12:35 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tbird57lover's comment
mlondeaux

tbird - Or, as they say in Texas, once a Texan always a Texan! I've lived in California for 30 years and still consider myself a Texan.

July 12 2011 at 2:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
ltpar

One question, if it is so backwards and bad in Texas, why are you there?

July 11 2011 at 6:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
georgecw

Texas ---- the beggist lie in the union, or is that Mexico perry

July 11 2011 at 12:14 AM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
jmgair

Texas leads the country in job creation and they have done it without Obama's help in anyway shape or form. It is no wonder he ignores the Lone Star State like he does.

July 10 2011 at 11:58 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jmgair's comment
Your Highness

It makes obama look even more inept.

July 11 2011 at 12:15 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
tbird57lover

You are so right! Another reason Nobama ignores Texas is because he doesn't want to do anything about the border issue. Governor Perry offered to fly to El Paso to discuss it with him when he made a speech there, and of course the the coward told him he could have 20-30 minutes of his time on the tarmac. Go figure!

July 11 2011 at 12:38 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
TRACYDILLER

I am glad for Texas.Where is the jobs for the rest of the US. Michigan sucks for jobs. The last governer for Michigan took the money and ran,let jobs go over seas,and to Mexico. The new governer is going to do the same thing.This state they say is so broke that they try to rip off the unemployed just so they can save money. I think I am moving south,another hole in Michigans tax base.( OH WELL)!!!!!!!

July 10 2011 at 11:44 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
saint9roi

there is something strange going on with this article. chain locations in texas aren't doing well and the locations in other states are having to carry the texas stores. numbers in texas are so bad that any replacement is hired at a lower wage than the employee they replace.

July 10 2011 at 11:44 PM Report abuse -11 rate up rate down Reply

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