PA job numbers redux

Okay, kids, here's an update on PA job numbers.

Regular Growl readers (both of you) recall I'm keeping track of net jobs added in the state since incumbent Republican Gov. Corbett took office in January 2011.

This is because jobs and the economy always take a lead in campaigns and politics and because a large part of the guv's reelection pitch is that he's pulled the state's economy up and helped create, as his campaign says, "more than 150,000 private-sector jobs."

And that may be.

But that's not the whole picture. Economists and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics contend the best measure of a state's job market is the total net jobs added, not just private-sector jobs.

And the latest U.S. Labor Department data on total jobs added in the 10 largest states (PA is sixth-largest) since January 2011 shows PA dead last -- by a considerable margin.

January totals say the state added 93,700 jobs since January 2011.

Of course, the five states larger than PA added more jobs, but so did the four states smaller than PA -- a lot more.

Ohio, 224,100; Georgia, 220,500; Michigan, 208,400; North Carolina, 209,700.

And other Republican governors elected the same year as Corbett show better job results in their states. This includes Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (Florida added 463,800 jobs).

So, once again, let's remember job numbers (whether one is blaming the national economy -- and you know who-- for them being low, or boasting that one's state has a big new jobs total) depend on who's doing the counting and how.

Continue Reading