Latest PJ Media Column (‘GOP-Governed and Right-To-Work States Saved the Economy’s Bacon in 2011′) Is Up (Update: More Comparisons and Specific State Commentary)
It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Wednesday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.
UPDATE: The column necessarily had to summarize matters a bit more than I would have liked. It’s worth digging a bit deeper to show the differences between right-to-work and other states, and GOP-governed and Democrat-governed states.
Having done so, and without throwing up more numbers than readers can stand, I have found that last year’s seasonally adjusted employment growth of 1.20% (per the state-by-state detail) had four elements (includes 50 states plus DC; Rhode Island’s independent governor is treated as a philosophical Democrat):
- GOP-governed right-to-work states (20) — 1.42%.
- GOP-governed states which aren’t right-to-work (9) — 1.12%.
- Dem-governed right-to-work states (2) — 0.39%, thanks almost entirely to North Carolina’s pathetic Beverly Perdue, who is mercifully not running for reelection.
- Dem-governed states which aren’t right-to-work (20) — 1.17% (the stat was only this “good” because California, which had employment growth of 1.72%, but should have done much better considering the pit it was already in).
There are certain things I wanted to bring up about other states which had to be left on the cutting-room floor:
- Ohio — Overall, 2011 was a good year for job growth in the Buckeye State, but the year’s second half wasn’t as good as the first. Thanks to the EPA essentially dictating the shutdown of many power plants and the government-imposed de facto moratorium on fracking, the state enters 2012 with heavy headwinds.
- Georgia — What in the world is going on in the Peach State? It lost almost 14,000 jobs and the unemployment rate at year-end was an underperforming 9.7%. Reader input on this one would be welcome.
- Massachusetts — The Democrat-dominated Bay State actually underperformed basket case Illinois during the second half of the year. After adding about 50,000 jobs in the year’s first seven months, it lost 10,000 in the final five. RomneyCare anyone?
- Missouri — Also lost jobs (4,000). Maybe the Show-Me State needs to concentrate more on its overall business climate and less on hitting mythical economic home runs.
- Connecticut — Added a pathetic 9,000 jobs. Tax increases accompanied by little in the way of public-sector union concessions would explain this.
- New Jersey — The unemployment rate is still 9.0%. It would be worse if Chris Christie hadn’t gotten his way with the Garden State’s budget, but he’s absolutely right that the state’s income tax rates need to come down.
- Wisconsin — The unemployment rate is relatively low (7.1%, down from 7.5% at the beginning of the year), but job growth ended up weak. Sadly, I think that uncertainty over the results of the gubernatorial recall of Scott Walker and the union-driven atmosphere of intimidation in much of the state is having a negative impact. Businesses seem to be holding off on hiring decisions pending that outcome. It is no understatement to assert, as Stephen Moore did in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, that the recall is “The Most Important Non-Presidential Election of the Decade.”