Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Chris Christie continues touting Jersey job creation

The job creation record of New Jersey's governor, Republican Chris Christie, was put under a microscope on the Oct. 2, 2011, edition of CBS's "Face the Nation."
The job creation record of New Jersey's governor, Republican Chris Christie, was put under a microscope on the Oct. 2, 2011, edition of CBS's "Face the Nation."

New Jersey’s economic forecast contains a couple of clouds: a slight increase in unemployment and lower-than-expected revenue projections.

But jobs? Jersey’s good, according to Gov. Chris Christie.

New Jersey created 17,600 jobs in May, Christie announced during a press conference Thursday at the statehouse. That represents 25 percent of all the jobs created in the country last month and the state’s biggest one-month boost in seven years, according to New Jersey Labor Department data.

Touting jobs numbers is not unfamiliar territory for the leader of the so-called Jersey Comeback. In fact, the governor and jobs are a frequent fact-checking topic for the Truth-O-Meter. Let’s recap a number of those fact-checks here:

‘Top third of all states’

When introducing the fiscal year 2013 budget in February, Christie said the state had added nearly 60,000 private-sector jobs; and that 2011 was the best year of job growth since 2000, putting New Jersey in the top third among all states. Our ruling found differences when looking at how states are compared both in terms of net increase and percentage increase.

To the rescue?

Just hours before delivering his State of the State Address on Jan. 17, Christie released a video on YouTube touting some of his fiscal accomplishments: balancing two budgets without raising taxes, creating 60,000 new private-sector jobs and decreasing the size of government. We determined that the number of state workers had declined during Christie’s tenure, and his number for private-sector job growth was correct. But Christie couldn’t take all the credit for that growth, our ruling found.

Too much credit

During a nationally televised news conference in October, Christie said New Jersey’s unemployment levels had fallen significantly since he become governor, and that the state created 50,000 private-sector jobs compared with 117,000 lost the year before he took office. Our ruling found the governor’s numbers were accurate, but he took too much credit for the Garden State’s job growth.

‘A stretch’

Christie also cited the 50,000 jobs growth statistic in August, noting the growth had occurred since the introduction of his first budget in March 2010. Our investigation determined that the governor’s numbers were mostly accurate, but a number of experts and economists we spoke with said it would be "a stretch" to prove that his budget directly impacted job growth.

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