Monday, November 24th, 2014

Joe Kyrillos, Chris Christie claims rate False on Truth-O-Meter

Gov. Chris Christie discusses the number of state government employees during this July 9 appearance at the Brookings Institution. Go to 1:30 to hear his comments.

New Jersey Republican claims about jobs landed in the Truth-O-Meter basement this weekend.

In case you missed it, the Truth-O-Meter handed down False rulings Sunday and Monday to claims from U.S. Senate candidate Joe Kyrillos and Gov. Chris Christie.

Kyrillos claim

Kyrillos claimed in a July 11 interview on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show that even though the nation created 80,000 jobs in June, the country’s net job growth has been a loss. Kyrillos didn’t specify a timeframe during his interview, but his campaign spokesperson later told PolitiFact New Jersey that Kyrillos was referring to job losses since December 2007 – the start of the recession. We found, however, that the nation has had sustained job growth each month since October 2010, resulting in the addition of more than 1.7 million jobs.

Christie claim

New Jersey today has fewer state employees than when Christie Whitman left the governor’s office in 2001 because of attrition, the governor said during his July 9 appearance at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. Back in December, the Truth-O-Meter gave Christie a True for his claim about the number of state employees on the payroll compared with when Whitman was in office. But revised numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, combined with the attrition claim, make the governor’s recent statement wrong.

When Christie made his claim at Brookings, the latest BLS figures were preliminary estimates for May 2012, when there were 146,100 state government employees. That represents a 7,700 increase, or nearly 5.6 percent, over Whitman’s last month as governor. Additionally, Christie’s spokesmen told us in a December e-mail that from the start of the governor’s tenure to November 2011, "743 out of 4,738 full-time positions eliminated were through layoffs."

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Campaign claims

Heard a political claim that sounds too good to be true or makes you skeptical? Tell us about the claim in an e-mail to politifactnj@starledger.com and we may put it to the Truth-O-Meter.