Texas' job growth is a key tenet of Gov. Rick Perry's re-election campaign, and he sounded that theme again in Thursday's debate. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison tried to take him down a few notches.
"And, oh, by the way, we definitely lost more jobs in Texas this year than we gained," she said. "We lost 300,000 jobs in Texas alone this year. That is not a record to be proud of."
We couldn't let Perry sit on his laurels without checking Hutchison's claim.
After clarifying that "this year" meant 2009, her campaign provided data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed Texas lost 271,700 jobs between November 2008 and November 2009.
Perry's campaign didn't respond to our query — is Hutchison correct? — so we turned to the Texas Workforce Commission, which supplies the federal labor bureau with Texas' seasonally-adjusted employment numbers (farm jobs not included).
Ann Hatchitt, the commission's director of communications, said Hutchison is right, and "there's certainly no problem in rounding that up to 300,000 jobs."
The bottom line: Texas had a net job loss of 271,700 jobs, which means the state did lose more jobs than it gained. Nearly 300,000.
That net job loss stands in contrast to 2007-08, when Texas led the nation in net job gains, as the Perry campaign frequently notes.
Stay tuned for Jan. 22 when the commission updates its data with December's employment rate. And again in March, when number crunchers fine-tune their report.
Until then, we rate Hutchison's claim True.