The article:

The battle over job growth in Massachusetts

By Louis Jacobson
Published on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 at 4:23 p.m.

The presidential campaigns are sparring over how much job growth Massachusetts experienced during Mitt Romney’s single term as governor.

As it turns out, they’re both right -- at least partly.

The campaign of President Barack Obama fired first, saying for months that Massachusetts ranked 47th in job creation during Romney’s term.

Over the weekend,  the Romney camp put a positive spin on the numbers by saying that while Massachusetts did rank last in state job growth early in Romney’s term, it had risen by the end of his governorship to "the middle of the pack."

Both talking points come from employment statistics compiled by the federal government. When we checked the campaigns’ math, we found that both claims are numerically accurate. However, both sides overestimated how much impact a governor such as Romney would have had on job growth. So we rated both claims Half True.

Both campaigns used as their measurement the total number of jobs in the state. We also wondered what the data would show if you looked instead at unemployment rates.

It turns out that both Massachusetts and the U.S. as a whole saw their unemployment rates drop during Romney’s governorship -- somewhat more on a national basis than in Massachusetts, but not dramatically so.

For instance, if you take the numbers from January 2003 to January 2007 -- Romney’s first and last months in office -- you find a drop of 1.2 percentage points nationally (from 5.8 percent to 4.6 percent) and 1.0 points in Massachusetts (from 5.6 percent to 4.6 percent).

In other words, when all is said and done, the unemployment trend in Romney-era Massachusetts wasn’t all that much different from that of the nation as a whole.
 

Advertisement
About this article:

Sources:

See original Truth-O-Meter items.

Researchers: Louis Jacobson

Names in this article: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

How to contact us:

We want to hear your suggestions and comments.

For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.

For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.

Browse The Truth-O-MeterTM:
Subscribe: