Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

It's jobs week at PolitiFact Virginia

A recent job fair in Richmond drew a large crowd.
A recent job fair in Richmond drew a large crowd.

It’s all about jobs.

Republican U.S. Senate George Allen celebrated the second anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last month with a blistering press release claiming the stimulus bill did not deliver on promises to improve employment.

Former Gov. Tim Kaine, who is mulling a Senate bid, made jobs a theme of his recent speech at the state Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner. Kaine, who is chairman of the Democratic National Committee, claimed that employment went on the skids under former President George W. Bush and has been on the mend under Barack Obama.

Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is often mentioned as a Republican vice presidential prospect, has been publicizing on national airwaves improvements in Virginia’s employment numbers since he took office in January, 2010.

But Brian Moran, chairman of the state Democratic Party, says McDonnell has not been creating enough jobs to keep up with Virginia’s population growth.

What’s a person to believe?

PolitiFact Virginia is sorting through a variety of employment claims this week. Two themes run rampant:

*There’s a universe of employment statistics out there and politicians are good at manipulating them.  

*Politicians claim way too much credit for good jobs news and heap way too much blame on opponents when the news is bad. Economists keep telling us tell us that the policies of presidents and governors have only a minor effect on economic cycles.

Look for a couple more PolitiFact Virginia checks on job claims this week.