Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Perry nails jobs claim

Political group Jobs for Iowa promotes Rick Perry for president in this television ad.

Gov. Rick Perry accurately recapped research on Texas job gains in remarks to the National Conference of State Legislatures today. Meanwhile, an Iowa group's pro-Perry TV ad, posted to the right, makes an untested claim on the job-gains front.

Perry told officials gathered in San Antonio: "Over the last two years, 40 percent of the net new jobs created in the United States were created in Texas."

That figure traces to research by the Federal Reserve branch in Dallas that determined that between June 2009, the month marked by the National Bureau of Economic Research as the end of the recession, and April 2011, Texas accounted for 37 percent of net job gains nationally, by one calculation, or 45 percent, by another.

By limiting his claim to net job gains, Perry's statement acknowledges that job-gains claims historically do not account for any jobs created in states with net job losses. Jobs are most certainly created in those states; they just have more jobs lost.

We’ve noted this wrinkle since rating False Perry’s claim in January 2009 that about 70 percent of the jobs created in the United States from November 2007 to November 2008 were in Texas. That statement was based on statistics from the 14 states in which job gains outnumbered job losses during the period, disregarding jobs created in 36 states where losses outnumbered gains.

Iowa for Jobs, presenting Perry as an ideal presidential candidate, refers to the Texas governor in a TV ad as the "leader of a state that created more jobs in the last two years than the other 49 states combined."

We haven't checked that precise claim, though in May we rated Half True a claim by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation that "in the last five years, we've created more jobs than all other states combined."

That statement stood up, considering only those 10 states that experienced net job gains over the five years. But it disregarded the 40 states where millions of jobs were created but were outnumbered by losses. Also, considering the percentage increase in jobs relative to the size of each state's work force, two other states experienced greater gains than Texas.

Also today, Perry touted the budget he recently signed into law, saying that lawmakers delivered a balanced budget "maintaining essential services, keeping taxes low and preserving more than $6 billion in our 'rainy day fund' in case of further national economic struggles or devastating natural disaster."

Perry accurately pinpointed how much money is projected to pile up in the rainy day fund by September 2013. However, as we noted in an earlier fact check, it's debatable whether the approved budget preserves essential services.

Republican leaders acknowledge the budget underfunds the state's projected share of Medicaid costs by an estimated $4.4 billion. A summary of the budget says that's the amount the state expects the program to need in supplemental state aid in 2013. Also, the new budget includes a kind of IOU by deferring a regular $2.3 billion state payment to school districts from the end of the 2013 fiscal year to fiscal 2014.

In separate interviews, the chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee and House Appropriations Committee agreed that $6.4 billion should accumulate in the fund over the next two years. But, they said, lawmakers will have designs on those dollars when they meet to start writing the next budget in January 2013.

Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said the more than $6 billion "is reserved for future spending" because of the estimated Medicaid shortfall and the possibility that lawmakers will restore school district payments to their usual schedule. "We kicked the ball down the road," Pitts said.

The governor also told the NCSL today that Texas "has been the nation's top moving destination for six years straight." We looked previously at how many people move here every year, rating Mostly True Perry's claim that more than 1,000 people move to Texas every day.

Estimates vary. With help from the U.S. Census Bureau, we learned that about 635 people come to Texas every day, on average. A census official based that number on average daily net migration from other states (393) plus average daily net migration from other countries (242). But if you rely on IRS data collected in 2007 and 2008, more than 1,300 people on average were relocating here in those years.

Perry’s next major speech is scheduled for Saturday at the RedState Gathering of conservative leaders in South Carolina. We’ll be listening.