July 24, 2011

In Covering State Jobs Report, AP’s Kravitz Ignores Job Gainers

In his Friday report covering the June state and local employment report released by Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Associated Press’s Derek Kravitz told readers about the three biggest seasonally adjusted job-losing states (Tennessee, Missouri, and Virginia), but had nothing to say about states which gained jobs. This was a curious omission indeed, given that BLS told us that “nonfarm payroll employment increased in 26 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 24 states.”

Only Kravitz knows why he neglected to tell us about the job gainers, but the list of the top eight states in that department should make readers wonder if the wire service reporter’s omission was motivated by inconvenient (for liberals and leftists) likely explanations for the improvements in most of them (keep in mind that though it’s not an apples to apples comparison, the economy as a whole added only 18,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in June):


One by one:

  • Mentioning Texas might have made some people think of generally positive economic news from the Lone Star State in general under possible GOP presidential contender Rick Perry. Others may be aware of the Obama administration’s EPA-led war on Texas, and wonder why it would be engaging in such an effort when the state, which has gained 144,000 jobs so far this year, is to a fair extent carrying the economy on its back.
  • California had a good month, but compared to Texas, it’s working off of larger base. The Golden State has picked up a total of 110,000 jobs since January, but that performance places it only 22nd in percentage employment growth.
  • Michigan had a good June, and of course needs very many more strong months to make up for its eight years under Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm. The Wolverine State has a new GOP governor in Rick Snyder and a legislature which passed a fiscally conservative budget, getting it done before Memorial Day for the first time since 1981.
  • June was the final month in the run-up to Minnesota’s state shutdown battle. The rest of the Gopher State economy didn’t seem to care much, did it?
  • Ohio under Republican Governor John Kasich, who ousted incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland in November, is one of the states where contentiousness over public-sector labor relations reform has been greatest. The state’s two-year budget effective July 1 closed a projected $8 billion budget gap without increasing taxes. The Buckeye State also “just so happens” to have picked up over 70,000 seasonally adjusted jobs this year, the highest 2011 percentage growth (1.42%) of any industrial state.
  • Massachusetts had a good June and has had a pretty decent first half of 2011. It just may have something to do with the fact that the state, to the surprise of many, has worked on and  actually enacted a degree of pubic-sector health care cost-sharing reform.
  • Then there’s Wisconsin, where Republican Governor Scott Walker took the most intense fire of any governor in recent history over his public-sector labor relations reforms earlier this year. The Badger State is in the midst of recall election campaigns involving state senators from both parties. Perhaps voters will notice that the state’s economy under Walker has improved significantly, something which could be not said about the situation under his predecessor, Democrat Jim Doyle. Wisconsin employment grew by all of 12,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in 2010. So far this year, employment is up by 37,300, over triple the 2010 figure.
  • Finally, there’s South Carolina, where Governor Nikki Haley has been in a public battle with the Associated Press over its negative state economic reporting. Spin this, AP: The Palmetto State had the nation’s fifth-highest percentage employment growth in June, trailing only much smaller, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and South Dakota. And don’t forget that the National Labor Relations Board has sued Boeing to prevent it from doing business at a plant near Charleston .

Despite the job pickups, the unemployment rate in most of the states listed above increased in June, as thousands of people who had been on the sidelines started looking for work again based on improved economic climates. One hopes that this bodes well for further job growth in these states.

As to the AP’s Kravitz, it’s awfully convenient for Democrats and the left that he neglected to relay the good news from states which are largely Republican-governed or have enacted public-sector labor relations reforms. His avoidance of South Carolina’s emphatic, in-your-face result is also quite a coincidence. Did you just run out of space, Derek?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


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