The EFM Feature
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I mentioned before that we have very high quality readers.

Professor Charles Musgrave of the University of Colorado at Boulder sent in this interesting graphic created from data directly taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and compares unemployment rates in Texas and Massachusetts during Mitt’s and Perry’s respective terms as governors.

It does bring up interesting questions about the state of employment in Texas.  What do you think?


Comments and Discussion

Evangelicals for Mitt provides comments as a way to engage in a public and respectiful discussion about articles and issues. Any comment may be removed by the editors for violating common decency or tempting flames.

18 Responses to A Graph from a Reader

  1. Steven says:

    I think this chart shows that 1) the time that Mitt Romney was president was a period that was good for both Texas and Massachusetts. 2) It also shows that both states have largely been affected in similar ways over the course of the total 8-year period shown. I’m not sure if it says anything too significant about either Governor — we can see that Massachusetts has had, in general, slightly better unemployment rate than Texas, and that the difference between the two have been visible during certain blocks of time, but those differences are still much smaller than the ebbs and flows that have impacted both states nearly equally. Mitt Romney inherited a better unemployment rate than Texas when he bagan his term, but the difference between the two shrunk to nearly zero by the time his term was over, but only because Texas’s value dropped faster than Massachusetts’ did during a period where unemployment was going down for everyone.

    Don’t get me wrong — I think Mitt Romney is a much much better choice than Perry. I’m just not sure this chart shows anything significant.

    • Charles Musgrave says:

      The significance is that because the rates track each other, Perry cannot claim to be responsible for job creation. Unemployment normalizes by the size of the employment pool – that is population of the state – whereas Perry is touting the absolute number of jobs which distorts the fact that population growth was the main job creator in TX. If you look at the numbers correctly, you must conclude that Perry’s claims are a monstrous lie…

  2. Ben Hunt says:

    We do not know how Mitt would have governed during the recession. He left office before the recession began. During Mitt’s term in office, the unemployment rate in Texas dropped faster than it did in Massachusetts.

    • Charles Musgrave says:

      That would be expected given that full employment is somewhere in the 3% range. The closer you come to full employment the less capacity there is to reduce unemployment.

  3. frozone says:

    This chart is very significant for this reason: it shows that both states followed the same trends, so neither governor can rightly point to their role in what is obviously a macro economic environment.

    Superimpose the other 48 states (or 55, for you Obama fans), and this macro trend becomes even more clear.

  4. Phil Ellsworth says:

    Even more significant – notice what happens to the numbers when you look at the years when Obama came on the scene.

    Also, this chart shows (as others have pointed out) realistically how little of an influence that either Governor had on the job numbers for their respective state. Which is more evidence that real-world job creating experience is significantly more important than political office experience – particularly when it comes to actually creating jobs.

    Chalk another one up for Mitt!

  5. Jonesy says:

    One thing this graph indicates is that governors probably have less to do with their state’s unemployment than they like to claim. However, data the graph doesn’t tell us is that when Mitt took office MA was ranked in the low 30s in unemployment among the states. When he left office MA was ranked 11th. Perry’s TX was ranked 4th nationally when he took office and is now ranked 27th.

    While a high tide may raise all boats, national flows don’t fully explain MA’s 20+ position improvement or Perry’s 20+ position fall compared to other states on the unemployment ladder.

    • frozone says:

      Another excellent way to spin the data, but I stand by my earlier contention that governors have less to do with actual job creation than they would have you believe. Sure they help the environment some, but it is the entrepreneurs in society that actually roll up their sleeves and create jobs, and Mitt has done that!

  6. John Wyatt says:

    It says that MA typically has lower unemployement than TX…and that the national economy is the impetus behind employement, not state politics.

  7. Liz says:

    This site truly has it’s finger on the pulse. Now I can say with pictures what I was trying to tell my friends with words. So much more effective, thank you.

  8. Agkcrbs says:

    I made a chart like this myself when I first heard Perry’s job-creation boast. The numbers indeed showed immigration (particularly Hispanic) to correlate with job growth, but gave no clues about the Texan low wages later pointed out as an inflator of job data. Since then, I’ve been doing two things: waiting for the fog to clear with Perry’s claim, and trying to figure out what exactly his other distinctive qualifications were. I must say, I was about as impressed with the GOP rocketting Perry to the top as I was with, say, Donald Trump’s bizarre poll spike some months ago. Too many people are treating this election like a game show, as if it had no consequences whatsoever beyond a different hue on the electoral map.

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