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New York Times columnist Paul Krugman isn’t feeling Gov. Chris Christie’s "Jersey Comeback."
In his May 28 column, Krugman chastised the Republican governor as a "fiscal phony," suggesting that Christie’s comeback message is at odds with job growth in New Jersey since he took office in January 2010.
According to the liberal columnist, "there have been some job gains in the McMansion State since Mr. Christie took office, but they have lagged gains both in the nation as a whole and in New York and Connecticut, the obvious points of comparison."
We’re not sure if that "McMansion" nickname will stick, but as for job growth, Krugman’s analysis is spot on, PolitiFact New Jersey found.
In terms of the percentage increases in total jobs and private-sector jobs as of April 2012, New Jersey’s growth since the beginning of Christie’s tenure has been less than the growth in New York, Connecticut and the nation as a whole, according to seasonally-adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak argued that the state’s "economic policies have us headed very much in the right direction in terms of job growth."
Drewniak added, "Do keep in mind that it was under this Governor that New Jersey had the best single year of private sector job growth in the last 10 years. That’s over 71,000 private sector jobs created since the Governor took office."
First, let’s talk about total job growth, including public- and private-sector employment.
As with previous stories, there’s two ways of analyzing job growth figures: the net increase in jobs and the percentage increase. Our analysis is focused on the percentage increase, because that metric accounts for the differences in size between New Jersey and the other two states and the nation as a whole.
While New Jersey’s total jobs grew by 37,100, or roughly 1 percent, between January 2010 and April 2012, New York increased its total jobs by 298,700, or about 3.5 percent, and Connecticut saw growth of 33,500, or about 2.1 percent.
As of April, there were 132,989,000 total jobs in the nation as a whole, representing a roughly 2.9 percent increase since January 2010. The April figures for the nation and the states are preliminary.
Looking at total job growth since February 2010 -- Christie’s first full month in office -- we found similar results.
Between February 2010 and April 2012, the nation saw an increase in total jobs of about 2.9 percent. During the same time period, New York and Connecticut increased total jobs by about 3.5 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, New Jersey’s total job growth was about 1.2 percent.
The following chart lays out the changes in total job growth as of April 2012:
|Net Total Job Growth Since Jan. 2010||% Total Job Growth Since Jan. 2010||Net Total Job Growth Since Feb. 2010||% Total Job Growth Since Feb. 2010|
Now, let’s review private-sector job growth -- a statistic frequently touted by the Christie administration.
Between January 2010 and April 2012, New Jersey gained 65,600 private-sector jobs for an increase of about 2 percent. Starting in February 2010 and continuing through April 2012, the state’s private-sector jobs grew by 71,200, or roughly 2.2 percent.
But those figures fall behind private-sector job growth in New York, Connecticut and the nation as a whole.
New York increased its private-sector jobs by about 4.6 percent since both January 2010 and February 2010, while Connecticut’s growth was roughly 3.2 percent since January 2010 and nearly 3.3 percent since February 2010.
The nation’s private-sector jobs increased by about 4 percent during the same time periods.
Here’s the chart showing private-sector job growth as of April 2012:
|Net Private Job Growth Since Jan. 2010||% Private Job Growth Since Jan. 2010||Net Private Job Growth Since Feb. 2010||% Private Job Growth Since Feb. 2010|
In his May 28 column, Krugman claimed "there have been some job gains in the McMansion State since Mr. Christie took office, but they have lagged gains both in the nation as a whole and in New York and Connecticut, the obvious points of comparison."
Krugman’s analysis is correct. In terms of the percentage increases in total jobs and private-sector jobs as of April 2012, New Jersey’s growth since the beginning of Christie’s tenure has been less than the increases in New York, Connecticut and the nation as a whole.
We rate the statement True.
To comment on this ruling, go to NJ.com.
New York Times, Big Fiscal Phonies, May 28, 2012
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State and Metro Area Employment, Hours, & Earnings, accessed May 29-30, 2012
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics - CES (National), accessed May 29-30, 2012
E-mail interview with Paul Krugman, May 29, 2012
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Economic Research, accessed May 30, 2012
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Private Sector Employment Gains 6,300 Jobs In April, March Employment Estimates Revised Higher By Nearly 5,000 Jobs, May 17, 2012
New York State Department of Labor, New York’s Economic Recovery Among Strongest in Nation, May 17, 2012
Connecticut Department of Labor, Unemployment rate stable at 7.7 percent; jobs drop off by 4,100, May 17, 2012
U.S Congress Joint Economic Committee, Economic Overview And Outlook: Connecticut, May 2012
U.S Congress Joint Economic Committee, Understanding The Economy: State-By-State Snapshots, May 2012
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Employment Situation -- April 2012, May 4, 2012
E-mail interview with Michael Drewniak, spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, May 30, 2012
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