During his State of the State address, Gov. Rick Perry countered those "painting a pretty grim picture" of Texas finances "with the good news that continues to flow from our comparatively strong economy."
"Have the doomsayers forgotten that Texas added more jobs in 2010 than any other state?" he said in the Feb. 8 speech.
We’ve checked other claims about Texas’ job growth, including Perry’s statement in June that Texas had added more jobs than the other states combined. We rated that True; from January 2001 to June 2010, Texas had a net gain of 853,400 jobs.
Earlier, we rated another statement False: In January, Perry claimed that approximately 70 percent of jobs created in the United States in November 2007-08 were in Texas, based on data from the Texas Workforce Commission, where number-crunchers said they added the total jobs created in the 13 job-gaining states during the one-year period. But the calculation behind his statement discounted jobs created in states that had an overall job loss.
We wondered if Perry accurately recapped how many jobs Texas gained in 2010.
Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier pointed us to a Jan. 25 federal report detailing states’ employment and unemployment during the last year. According to the report, "the largest statistically significant" net job gain was in Texas," with 230,800 jobs, ahead of Pennsylvania (65,600) and Illinois (46,300). The report says the "only statistically significant decrease in employment occurred in New Jersey," which had a net job loss of 30,700 jobs.
It’s worth noting that even states that had a net-job losses likely saw some new jobs — though not enough to offset the jobs they lost.
But Cheryl Abbot, an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Dallas, agreed that based on preliminary December data, Perry accurately recapped how many jobs Texas added last year: "We did have the largest over-the-year employment," she said, later adding that "Texas would have certainly beaten any state with a loss." She likewise pointed us to the January bureau report noted by Frazier.
According to preliminary December 2010 data in the report, Texas had the largest employment increase that month, adding about 20,000 jobs, followed by South Carolina, which added some 9,000 jobs.
Abbot also told us that among the states, Texas had a 2.3 percent increase in jobs in 2010. New Hampshire came in second with a 2.1 percent job increase.
Finally, we wondered how well the new jobs pay. Abbot told us that while the bureau tracks average hourly earnings for most industry sectors, "the data will only give you averages across all workers in the industry, nothing about ‘new’ versus ‘old’ jobs."
Regardless of how the new jobs paid, Texas added more of them — based on net job gains — in 2010 than any other state. We rate Perry’s statement True.