Dallas Fed Head Attempts to "Separate Fact from Fiction" When It Comes to Texas Jobs

Several Friends of Unfair Park, including a grumpy one below, have asked if we'll make mention of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Fisher's speech given in Midland yesterday. Sure, absolutely, happy to. Because, first, I'm a big fan of Fisher's -- anyone who mentions Rube Goldberg and Bob Dylan and Groucho Marx and Dolly Parton in his speeches is a man who makes Economics 101 not only easy to understand but thoroughly pleasant to digest. (He's also quite keen on Robert Earl Keen.) And, second, ain't no hotter subject than the so-called Texas Miracle, wherein Gov. Rick Perry claims that close to 40 percent of all jobs created in the U.S. and A. since '09 were right here in The Great State of Texas.

But as The Economist notes only this morning, there's a lot of questions about that particular statistic -- like, say, how many of them are actually below minimum wage, and how many were created compared to the influx of new residents, and at what cost to things like public ed, and on and on. The Economist writes that the criticism and congratulations all have their place while noting that "the virtues of Mr Perry's approach are debatable, but he clearly deserves a good dollop of credit for job creation."

So, what does Fisher have to say on the subject? This:

There are several ways to calculate Texas' contribution to national job creation from June 2009 through the end of June 2011. One is to look at the number of jobs created by all 50 states, including those that have lost jobs since the nation's anemic recovery began. Using this metric, through June of this year Texas has accounted for 49.9 percent of net new jobs created in the United States.

Another way to calculate Texas' contribution to job creation is to lop off those states that have continued losing jobs and consider only those that have positive growth in employment these past two years. Using this metric, Texas has accounted for 29.2 percent of job creation since the recession ended.

These are the facts. You may select whichever metric you wish. Regardless, it is reasonable to assume Texas has accounted for a significant amount of the nation's employment growth both over the past 20 years and since the recession officially ended.

So, you're saying the Texas Miracle doesn't refer to the Rangers making the World Series last season. Now, what about climate change?

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky