The Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s latest smear campaign against Governor Corbett is dead on arrival. Not only did Chairman Burn implode his party’s message by appearing disillusioned with their current field of candidates (Allyson Schwartz can’t be happy that the Democratic Chairman wants Rob McCord in the race), but their primary point of attack — Pennsylvania’s job growth rate — is completely blunted.
“But as the last few months have shown, the state’s employment situation is improving, and, right now, should not be high, empirically speaking, on the list of things about which to criticize the governor. Of course, that’s probably a big reason why the Democrats have shifted their focus to the less-than-useful job growth rate ranking: you can’t rail against unemployment levels when they are the lowest they’ve been in about four years, or employment totals that have returned to levels not seen since late 2008.” (Comisac, Chris. POINT OF ORDER: Democrats’ criticism of Corbett’s job creation efforts rings hollow. Capitolwire. July 24, 2013.)
Thanks to Governor Corbett’s pro-jobs leadership, Pennsylvania was second in the nation in June job growth, adding 19,000 jobs to the workforce. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Since June 2011, over 130,000 private sector jobs have been created. We’re not sure why Pennsylvania Democrats are rooting AGAINST job growth in Pennsylvania, but who are we to question the Democrats’ strategy (especially after they passed a moratorium on natural gas drilling this year…)
POINT OF ORDER: Democrats’ criticism of Corbett’s job creation efforts rings hollow.
HARRISBURG (July 24) – Promises made, promises broken — that’s the line being used by Pennsylvania’s Democratic Party in its latest attack on Gov. Tom Corbett and his administration.
The first salvo in this new campaign comes in the form of what is — and has been for the last few months — at best, a disingenuous criticism, and one that has been uttered by far too many Democrats, and others, in hopes that saying it often enough will make it meaningful.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Pennsylvania used to be ranked in the top ten for its job growth rate, but now — because of the governor’s failed policies — it ranks in the bottom five of the nation’s states.
Now, before going further, it’s important to point out that Corbett, when he was a gubernatorial candidate, spent plenty of time using similar statistics and arguments when criticizing then-Gov. Ed Rendell and the Democratic Party’s policies as they relate to job creation.
He used the job growth rate to his advantage as a candidate, and now the Democrats are trying to turn the tables on Tom.
So why is it a disingenuous criticism when the state is clearly ranked 46th using the latest data posted on a website created by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business?
Because the same website Corbett critics now tout as proof the governor has led the state astray isn’t being used by these people properly. In fact, they ignore clear evidence, from that same website, of the lack of value of their criticisms.
All one has to do is take a look at how wonderful Pennsylvania was performing when it was ranked in the top 15 of all states in job growth during the last few years.
In January 2011, just before Corbett took office — so the Democratic narrative goes — the state ranked 7th for its job growth rate, adding 83,500 jobs compared to the January 2010 job total. Not bad.
Of course, a year earlier, the state was ranked 11th … and lost nearly 130,000 jobs from its January 2009 total — Pennsylvania’s negative growth rate was simply smaller than most of the other states. That gives you an idea of how bad things were in the 39 states ranked behind us in 2010. And if things were worse for other states, even small amounts of improvement in future years appear large when calculating growth rates.
It was a similar situation for Pennsylvania in 2009, when the state ranked 15th in job growth rate for the month of January, and lost more than 111,000 jobs compared to January 2008.
How about the month of June, since Democrats are now blasting away at Corbett using the latest job growth rate ranking from last month?
Well in June 2009, the state ranked 15th while losing nearly 215,000 jobs compared to June 2008. That made June 2010’s addition of nearly 31,000 jobs, compared to a year earlier, look positively stellar, and garnered the state a ninth-place ranking for the month.
In June 2011, the state was up, compared to the prior year, by nearly 57,000 jobs, but its ranking fell to 16th.
And last year, the state added 37,000 jobs on top of the prior year’s total. You’d think that would garner a top 25 spot at the least, right?
Wrong. The state was ranked 47th for adding 37,000 jobs. Twenty states added more jobs that month, compared to where they were the prior year, but in the end, Pennsylvania was ranked 47th for its job growth rate.
And of course, last month the state was 31,000 jobs better than it was in June 2012. While 28 other states last month added fewer than 31,000 jobs compared to their June 2012 total, Pennsylvania ranked 46th for its job growth rate.
This all proves one thing: the job growth rate ranking for one month, when comparing job growth to the same month the prior year, is of very little value. And comparing one month in one year to a completely different month in another year — which is what Democrats are doing — is even less useful, unless you’re playing politics.
When the state can be ranked 15th one month in 2009 and lose 215,000 jobs compared to the prior year, all it means is Pennsylvania employment wasn’t hit nearly as hard by the recession as other states.
And that truth is borne out by the fact that the state can be up by more jobs in one month, compared to the same month the prior year, than more than half the nation’s states and still be ranked in the bottom five of all states for job growth rate.
There are plenty of other legitimate things upon which to criticize the governor and his administration, like their inability to work out deals to get more transportation funding, provide more state budget stability with regard to public pensions, and improve upon the way wine and liquor are sold in Pennsylvania.
But as the last few months have shown, the state’s employment situation is improving, and, right now, should not be high, empirically speaking, on the list of things about which to criticize the governor. Of course, that’s probably a big reason why the Democrats have shifted their focus to the less-than-useful job growth rate ranking: you can’t rail against unemployment levels when they are the lowest they’ve been in about four years, or employment totals that have returned to levels not seen since late 2008.
It’s true that some people argue governors — and even U.S. presidents — have little ability to directly create jobs in the private sector; if they could, so the argument goes, every elected executive at the state or federal level would do it regularly.
Regardless of the impact a governor has, if the current trend of improvement in Pennsylvania employment changes — as it well could — then Democrats have an issue to exploit, as candidate Corbett did when the state’s employment situation wasn’t so good post-recession.
But, until that happens, can we put an end to cherry-picking whatever out-of-context employment data you think makes your political point, like this job growth rate rigamoro?
(Comisac, Chris. POINT OF ORDER: Democrats’ criticism of Corbett’s job creation efforts rings hollow. Capitolwire. July 24, 2013.)
Carlisle Sentinel: Our View: Pro-business policies paying off
Procter & Gamble’s decision to build a distribution center near Shippensburg and create nearly 1,000 new jobs is a vote of confidence for our region. For all its faults, Pennsylvania’s pro-business policies bode well against neighboring New York and Maryland. That major employers take notice of that is encouraging.
On Thursday, Procter & Gamble said it would move into a 1.7 million-square-foot distribution center under construction in Southampton Township, Franklin County. The $93 million facility will employ four to six managers and 950 contracted employees. The consumer-goods manufacturer says the Shippensburg site is ideally situated between its massive plant near Scranton and a manufacturing facility in Maryland.
It’s the latest in a string of positive economic news for the Shippensburg area, with Volvo expanding its local facility by $100 million and Brazilian manufacturer Wipro Infrastruture Engineering bringing 74 jobs to Chambersburg. Gov. Tom Corbett rightly credits the state’s relatively pro-business policies as luring major manufacturers to Pennsylvania.
He’s absolutely right.
Huge swaths of neighboring states, including upstate New York, have all but given up on manufacturing jobs. With few exceptions, growth there has come from the small-business sector. The days of mass employers moving in are long gone, many economic developers say. Yet in Central Pennsylvania, our economy is robust across sectors — farming, retail, small business, manufacturing and increasingly in distribution centers.
We enthusiastically welcome Procter & Gamble to our community, and we appreciate the hard work of the Corbett administration to incentivize the company’s move to Shippensburg.
(“Editorial Board. Our View: Pro-business policies paying off,” Carlisle Sentinel, July 20, 2013.)