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The Facts About Rick Perry’s Distorted Record of Job Growth

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Since announcing his candidacy for president on Saturday, Governor Rick Perry has been flaunting his alleged economic record in Texas. It’s a bloated claim that may make a good sound bite, but it lacks the benefit of being true.

In Perry’s announcement speech, he said:

Since June of 2009, Texas is responsible for more than 40 percent of all of the new jobs created in America. Now think about that. We’re home to less than 10 percent of the population in America, but 40 percent of all the new jobs were created in that state.

Here’s the catch: Population growth in Texas was larger than any other state, and the number of jobs the state created was largely a function of its size.

And growth the state has benefited from has been driven by factors beyond Perry’s control –like rising oil prices, increased military spending, high birth rates, and immigration. The only real credit due here is to the status quo.

Despite adding some jobs, unemployment has grown far quicker under Rick Perry’s watch:  

[Texas unemployment has grown] from 7.7 percent to 8.0 percent over that same period. And by that measure, Texas has done worse than the rest of the country since the peak of national unemployment in October 2009.

Over the past two and a half years, the Texas labor force has grown by more than 437,000 workers yet netted 126,000 jobs.

Think Progress used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to chart states’ record of job creation when accounting for growth in the labor market as well. Texas ranks dead last:

As the 2012 newbie in the race, Rick Perry has used his shiny new freshman appeal to push some inflated and skewed claims about his economic record as governor. It turns out that the Texas Miracle was more of a Texas Mirage.