Calling on state legislators Monday to approve a tax cut immediately, Gov. Chris Christie returned to a familiar rallying cry: job growth in New Jersey is among the highest in the nation.
"We’ve added nearly 85,000 private-sector jobs since February of 2010, seeing the best year of private-sector job growth in 2011 in over a decade and with 2012 already on pace to be even stronger," Christie said in a speech during the special session of the state Legislature.
"Our 12 month job increase was the sixth highest in the nation and we’re seeing housing sales, car sales and personal income increasing at higher rates than the nation."
But in claiming "our 12 month job increase was the sixth highest in the nation," the Republican governor also was making a familiar mistake, PolitiFact New Jersey found.
As we’ve noted in previous fact-checks, job growth can be measured in two ways -- the net increase in jobs and the percentage increase. Looking at percentage increases accounts for states’ different population sizes.
Christie’s claim is right in terms of the net increase, but wrong in regard to the percentage increase, according to seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Between May 2011 and May 2012, New Jersey gained 59,800 total nonfarm jobs -- including private- and public-sector employment -- for an increase of nearly 1.6 percent, according to the bureau. The May 2012 figures are preliminary.
That net increase places the Garden State in sixth place among the 50 states, just as Christie said.
But the percentage increase leaves the state in 13th place.
The governor made the same mistake in February, when he said private-sector job growth in 2011 "places New Jersey in the top third among all of the states." He received a Half True, because his claim was right for the net increase, but wrong for the percentage increase.
The governor's office did not respond to requests for comment.
In a speech Monday during the special session of the state Legislature, Christie claimed "our 12 month job increase was the sixth highest in the nation."
That’s a very specific claim, but it’s only true when you look at New Jersey’s net increase of 59,800 total nonfarm jobs between May 2011 and May 2012. The percentage increase of nearly 1.6 percent leaves the state in 13th place.
We rate the statement Half True.
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