The Secret of Rick Perry’s Texas Jobs Miracle? Government Jobs

The speculation about whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry will jump into the Republican presidential race boils down to one word: Jobs. Perry’s state has been generating jobs at an impressive rate–which Perry likes to think is due to low taxes and lax regulations. Some of the coverage points to important caveats–the booming oil economy, for instance, and rapid population growth both make Texas fairly unrepresentative.

Today the Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece by Ana Campoy and Sara Murray about the Texas miracle. The papers shows that many of these jobs are in the public sector; a million total new jobs over the past decade, butroughly “300,000 of the new Texas jobs were in government.”

What’s more, this graph accompanying the piece shows the rate of private sector job creation declining since 2008, while the rate of growth in public employment* continues to rise:

The Journal includes this typical line from Perry:

“Government doesn’t create any jobs,” he said last month on Glenn Beck’s show on Fox News. “They can actually run jobs away.”

He’s partly right. As the Journal points out, Perry’s budget cuts will lead to job losses in the public sector, particularly in the public schools. While he might not deserve credit for the Texas job boom, he can claim credit for some likely job losses.

*Note: Corrected to more accurately reflect the chart (thanks to commenter Kyle O.)

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.