Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Texas Miracle That Wasn't

Paul Krugman asked in his recent NYT OpEd,

"so where does the notion of a Texas "job growth" miracle come from?" And, he answered, "Mainly from widespread misunderstanding of the economic effects of population growth … Texas tends, in good years and bad, to have higher job growth than the rest of America. But it needs lots of new jobs just to keep up with its rising population — and as those unemployment comparisons show, recent employment growth has fallen well short of what’s needed."

Felix Salmon: How does employment in Texas compare to employment in the rest of the country.

Nick Rizzo collated the data for this chart, taking employment figures from Google’s Public Data Explorer, and filling it out with population data from the Census Bureau and — for the 2011 population of Texas — the Texas Department of State Health Services. Here’s the result:

The employment-to-population ratio in this chart is lower than the employment-to-population ratio we normally see, because it includes everyone, from infants to convicted felons.

According to the figures we have for 2011, 44.7% of the total US population has a job, compared to 43.5% of the Texas population.

Perry inherited a ratio of more than 47% in Texas from George W Bush, and has presided over a steady decline ever since — including every year of the Bush presidency bar 2005.

Krugman: A Short Course in Miracles

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