Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Texas Ranks Last In Job Creation, Among Many Lasts

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), since he launched his presidential campaign on Saturday, has paraded around the stat that “since June of 2009, Texas is responsible for more than 40 percent of all of the new jobs created in America.” Gov. Perry says he wants conservative governance to do for America what it has done for Texas. All of the Republican presidential candidates tout no taxes and no government as good for America. So, what has conservative governance given Texas?

Stellar job growth?

Think Progress: In claiming that Texas has create 40% of all new jobs in America Gov. Perry references the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' jobs number. However, the reserve bank “acknowledges that the number comes out different depending on whether one compares Texas to all states or just to states that are adding jobs.”

Between 2008 and 2010, jobs actually grew at a faster pace in Massachusetts than in Texas.

In fact, “Texas has done worse than the rest of the country since the peak of national unemployment in October 2009.”

The unemployment rate in Texas has been steadily increasing throughout the recession, and went from 7.7 to 8.2 percent while the state was supposedly creating 40 percent of all the new jobs in the U.S.

How is this possible, since Texas has created over 126,000 jobs since the depths of the recession in February 2009? The fact of the matter is that looking purely at job creation misses a key point, namely that Texas has also experienced population and labor force growth [unequaled in other states. A series of factors also come into play, including that Texas weathered the housing bubble reasonably well due to strict state of Texas mortgage lending "government regulations."] When this is taken into account, Texas’ job creation looks decidedly less impressive:

As Paul Krugman put it, “several factors underlie [Texas'] rapid population growth: a high birth rate, immigration from Mexico, and inward migration of Americans from other states," and more...

A Report from the Texas Legislative Study Group On the State of Our State released in February 2011, at the start of the 82nd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, assesses Texas' ranking in a number of categories. According to the Study Group's report Texas ranks last in almost every category:

Education (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Public School Enrollment 2nd
• Average Salary of Public School Teachers 33rd
• Average Teacher Salary as a Percentage of Average Annual Pay 34th
• Current Expenditures per Student 38th
• State & Local Expenditures per Pupil in Public Schools 44th
• State Aid Per Pupil in Average Daily Attendance 47th
• Percent of Elementary/Secondary School Funding from State Revenue 37th
• Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Scores 45th
• Percent of Population 25 and Older with a High School Diploma 50th
• High School Graduation Rate 43rd
• Percent of Adults with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree 31st
• Percentage of Higher Education Enrollment 9th
• Per Capita State Spending on State Arts Agencies 43rd

State of the Child (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Birth Rate 2nd
• Percent of Population Under 18 2nd
• Percent of Uninsured Children 1st
• Percent of Children Living in Poverty 4th
• Percent of Children Fully Immunized 34th
• Percent of Children Overweight 19th

Health Care (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Percent of Population Uninsured 1st
• Percent of Non-Elderly Uninsured 1st
• Percent of Low Income Population Covered by Medicaid 49th
• Percent of Population with Employer-Based Health Insurance 48th
• Total State Government Health Expenditures as Percent of the Gross State Product 43rd
• Per Capita State Spending on Mental Health 50th
• Per Capita State Spending on Medicaid 49th
• Percent of Population Physically Active 36th
• Health Care Expenditures per Capita 44th
• Hospital Beds per 1,000 Population 27th

Health Professionals per Capita:
• Physicians 42nd
• Dentists 39th
• Registered Nurses 44th

Health and Well-Being (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Percent Living Below Federal Poverty Level 4th
• Percent of Population with Food Insecurity 2nd
• Average Monthly Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Benefits per Person 47th
• Prevalence of Obesity in Adults 16th
• Rate of Death due to Heart Disease 22nd
• Prevalence of Diagnosed Diabetes 14th
• Diabetes Death Rate 16th
• Percent of Population Who Visit the Dentist 46th

Women's Issues (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Overall Birth Rate 2nd
• Teenage Birth Rate 7th
• Births to Unmarried Mothers 17th
• Percent of Women with Pre-Term Birth 9th
• Percent of Non-Elderly Women with Health Insurance 50th
• Percent of Women Who have had a Dental Visit within the Past Year 45th
• Rate of Women Aged 40+ Who Receive Mammograms 40th
• Rate of Women Aged 18+ Who Receive Pap Smears 37th
• Breast Cancer Rate 42nd
• Cervical Cancer Rate 11th
• Percent of Women with High Blood Pressure 16th
• Family Planning 37th
• Percent of Pregnant Women Receiving Prenatal Care in First Trimester 50th
• Women's Voter Registration 45th
• Women's Voter Turnout 49th
• Percent of Women Living in Poverty 6th
• Percentage of Women with Four or More Years of College 30th
• Percent of Businesses Owned by Women 17th
• Percent of Median Income for Full Time Work 26th

Access to Capital (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Percent of Mortgage Loans that are Subprime 9th
• Mortgage Debt as Percent of Home Value 47th
• Foreclosure Rates 10th
• Private Loans to Small Businesses 30th
• Asset Poverty Rate 36th
• Median Net Worth of Households 47th
• Average Credit Score 49th
• Retirement Plan Participation 47th
• Median Credit Card Debt 19th
• Average Credit Score 49th

Environment (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Amount of Carbon Dioxide Emissions 1st
• Amount of Volatile Organic Compounds Released into Air 1st
• Amount of Toxic Chemicals Released into Water 1st
• Amount of Recognized Cancer-Causing Carcinogens Released into Air 1st
• Amount of Hazardous Waste Generated 1st
• Amount of Toxic Chemicals Released into Air 5th
• Amount of Recognized Cancer-Causing Carcinogens Released into Water 7th
• Number of Hazardous Waste Sites on National Priority List 7th
• Consumption of Energy per Capita 5th

Workforce (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Average Hourly Earnings of Production Workers on Manufacturing Payrolls 38th
• Government Employee Wages and Salaries 24th
• Percent of Workforce that are Members of a Union 41st
• Workers' Compensation Coverage 50th

Quality of Life (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Income Inequality Between the Rich and the Poor 9th
• Income Inequality Between the Rich and the Middle Class 5th
• Median Household Income 34th
• Home Ownership Rate 44th
• Homeowner’s Insurance Affordability 46th
• Auto Insurance Affordability 24th
• Personal Bankruptcy Filings Rate, Per Capita 39th
• Percent of Households with Internet Access 42nd

Democracy (50th=Lowest, 1st=Highest)
• Percent of Voting-Age Population that is Registered to Vote 43rd
• Percent of Voting-Age Population that Votes 45th

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