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John Kasich ran for governor using job creation as a stick to beat incumbent Ted Strickland.
Since taking office, Kasich has used the issue as a yardstick measuring Ohio's progress -- often on Fox News, where he once hosted his own show and remains a regular presence.
In his most recent interview, on April 2 with anchor Neil Cavuto, the governor proclaimed his best news yet: "We were the No. 1 job creator in America in February, and we are now the No. 4 job creator in the last year."
That followed a loss of 400,000 jobs over the previous four years, he said.
When the governor speaks, PolitiFact Ohio listens -- and checks.
In previous ratings, going back to the 2010 campaign, we found that the 400,000 number was correct -- but that it was inaccurate to put all the blame for Ohio's economic woes on Strickland.
Last August, Kasich took credit for his administration creating an increase of 45,000 jobs since the beginning of the year. The number was accurate, but we rated that claim as Mostly False for the part of the statement where the governor said "we’ve created" the jobs.
But the governor earned a rating of Mostly True in January when he said Ohio ranked 8th in the nation in job creation.
Now we asked Kasich's spokesman, Rob Nichols, his basis for saying Ohio was number one in job creation in February and number four over the previous year.
He pointed to employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and to the news release issued by the bureau when it posted new numbers on March 30 .
"In February," says the BLS release, "nonfarm payroll employment increased in 42 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 8 states. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in Ohio (up 28,300), followed by Texas and New York."
The Ohio figure was the nation's "largest statistically significant" job gain, BLS said.
(In terms of percentage increase in employment, the second category used by BLS, North Dakota ranked first, up 1.3 percent. But raw numbers have been the metric used consistently by the Kasich administration and the Kasich campaign before that.)
The BLS release also lists the states that had "statistically significant employment changes from February 2011 to February 2012."
The biggest gainer was Texas, which added 273,900 jobs, followed by New York and California. No. 4, adding 73,500 jobs, was Ohio.
So Kasich’s figures are accurate. And, putting them in context, he did not overreach when Cavuto asked if credit due to governor might be taken by President Obama.
"When economies get better, executives get credit for it," Kasich said. "The fact is, does he benefit to some degree in Ohio from that? There`s no question that he does. Do I? Yes. Are we responsible for it? From our perspective out here, we have just taken on a lot of tough problems and created a better environment."
That part could be classified as political rhetoric, and we’re not rating it.
But Kasich’s statement about job creation rates is True.
CQ Transcriptions, Fox News, Anchor Neil Cavuto with Gov. John Kasich, April 2, 2012
Email with Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols, April 3, 2012
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary, March 30, 2012
PolitiFact Ohio, "John Kasich says Ohio No. 8 for job creation, No. 1 in the Midwest,"
Jan. 6, 2012
PolitiFact Ohio, "Gov. John Kasich touts administration role in creating "a net increase of 45,000 jobs," Sept. 12, 2011
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