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A new ad depicts Trenton officials as a group of rowdy children who have marred their house with gummy carpets and chalk-strewn walls.
But then Gov. Chris Christie arrives and straightens the place up in the 30-second spot released by Committee for Our Children’s Future, a nonprofit group that supports the governor.
"For years, politicians have run amok in Trenton and cleaning up their mess hasn't been easy, but [with] Gov. Chris Christie and bipartisan reformers: the most job growth in 11 years, millions in new education funding, two budgets balanced," the narrator says in the ad released Jan. 25. "Christie and reformers are working to strengthen our economy, improve education and cut income taxes for all New Jersey families. Join our reform movement, because cleaning up is never easy, but it's worth it."
PolitiFact New Jersey has addressed two of these claims previously: the governor increased education funding this year and he’s balanced two budgets, as he’s required to do.
Now, we’re checking the claim that with Christie and bipartisan reformers, New Jersey had the "most job growth in 11 years."
Brian Jones, a spokesman for Committee for Our Children’s Future, first sent us a Jan. 15 Asbury Park Press article to support the claim. It states that job growth last year "put the state on pace for its best year since 2000, when it added 77,100 jobs."
But PolitiFact New Jersey’s analysis of the most recent state data, which is still subject to revision, doesn’t support that conclusion.
Let’s look at job growth in the Garden State.
In 2011, New Jersey gained 39,400 private-sector jobs and lost 3,000 government jobs. The net gain, then, was 36,400 jobs.
In 2004, the state added 37,700 jobs of which 14,700 were from the public sector
Prior to that, New Jersey had the most job growth in 2000, with an overall increase of 77,100 jobs.
So, last year New Jersey had the highest total employment growth in seven years.
When we reached back out to Jones, he said the statement in the ad was referring to private-sector employment, which grew more last year than in 11 years.
"There’s been bloated government in Trenton for too long. Governor Christie’s policies are working to trim the fat, while growing private-sector jobs," he said.
Joseph Seneca, a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, said it’s more appropriate to compare private-sector job growth now.
In 2011, the state was purposefully "trying to reduce public-sector employment and the public sector in general," he said. "Whereas in 2004 it was sort of the Wild West, 40 percent of the total growth that year was in the public sector."
As we’ve noted in previous rulings, it’s generally wrong to assign full credit or blame for job growth or job losses to specific individuals. While the governor and bipartisan reformers may have had a hand in creating more jobs other factors are at work, including the nation’s recovery from a job-destroying recession.
A group that supports the governor released a video ad that said with Christie and bipartisan reformers, New Jersey had "the most job growth in 11 years."
The state gained more jobs overall last year than in seven years -- not 11 years. In 2004, the state added 37,700 jobs. In 2011, we added 36,400 jobs.
Public-sector growth boosted job gains in 2004, while last year the state added jobs despite a decrease in government employment .
The ad doesn’t make a distinction in the types of jobs gained, but a spokesman said it was referring to private-sector employment. Last year, New Jersey had the most private-sector job growth in 11 years.
Overall, we rate this statement Half True.
To comment on this ruling, go to NJ.com.
Committee for Our Children’s Future’s YouTube Channel, Mess, Jan. 24, 2012
Committee for Our Children’s Future, CCF Launches Second Television Ad to Promote New Jersey's Reform Movement, Jan. 25, 2012
PolitiFact New Jersey, Television ad promotes Chris Christie’s spending cuts, increased education funding, Oct. 6, 2011
NJSpotlight, Opinion: The Great Recession and NJ’s Lost Employment Decade, May 3, 2010
New Jersey League of Municipalities, Economy 2012: Grow and Rebalance, Jan. 2012
The Star-Ledger, Christie supporters plan $1.5M TV campaign to tout his successes, push income tax proposal, Jan. 25, 2012
PolitiFact New Jersey, Chris Christie claims he balanced two budgets while facing $13 billion in deficits and didn’t raise taxes, Oct. 2, 2011
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Jan-19-12 Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.0 Percent Lowest New Jersey Jobless Rate Since May 2009, Jan. 19, 2012
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Nonagricultural Wage & Salary Employment: 1990 to 2010 (Seasonally Adjusted), accessed Jan. 26, 2012
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Seasonally adjusted statewide nonagricultural wage and salary employment, accessed Jan. 26, 2012
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Labor Force Estimates: NJ Monthly Seasonally Adjusted Estimates: 1976-2011, accessed Jan. 26, 2012
Asbury Park Press, NJ jobs are picking up, but it's still a struggle for those without work, Jan. 15, 2012
Email and phone interview with Brian Jones, spokesman for Committee for Our Children’s Future, Jan. 26, 2012
Interview with Joseph Seneca, University Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, Jan. 26, 2012
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