Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Part VIII: Govenor Mitt Romney's Impressive Record of Job Creation

Mitt Romney's record on job growth in Massachusetts will be the subject of intense debate in this presidential race. Yet, if you look closely at his record, there's no debate that Mitt Romney's record is amazing.
A Look At Romney's Record of Creating Jobs In Massachusetts
Before Mitt Romney took office, not only was the state facing a major deficit, the unemployment situation in Massachusetts was very grim. The state was hemorrhaging jobs and it was losing more jobs than the rest of the country
“Massachusetts is number one in the nation in job losses, shedding 4.7 percent of all jobs over the last two years. The state has lost 71,000 manufacturing jobs, or 17 percent; 69,000, or nearly 14 percent, of all jobs in the professional and business services sector; and nearly 18 percent of all jobs in the information industry.”
We know that Massachusetts was in a bad place in terms of jobs before Mitt entered office and the current govenor, Deval Patrick, has not made job creation a priority in his administration. Mitt Romney makes that point himself when he explains his record as governor: “The governor before me lost jobs; the governor after me has lost jobs; we actually created jobs.”

What surprises me is that the issue of whether or not Mitt Romney left the state in better shape than he found it, is a matter of fierce debate. As I will show below, the facts clearly demonstrate Romney left the state in a much better shape than his predecessor or successor.
One of the common complaints about Mitt Romney's record of job creation is that at the end of Mitt Romney's first year of working as governor was that Massachusetts was number 50 out of 50 states in America for job growth and that by the time he left office, it was 47 out 50.
However, that claim is contradicted, or refuted, depending on how you look at it, when you look at the actual statistics provided by the Department of Labor's Bereau of Labor Statistics which you can see when you click on the linked footnotes below:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Mass. Unemployment Rate
The unemployment rate had doubled from January 2001 to January 2003 when he took office, and was continuing to increase at a fast rate. He implemented pro-growth policies and programs. By summer the increase in unemployment had stopped and by fall unemployment was dropping. [13] While Massachusetts was 50th, or nearly the worst in the nation in the increase in unemployment rates the year that just ended when he took office, he got it down to 38th place his first year in office. [14] The unemployment rate continued to rapidly drop for nearly two years, hit a plateau for about a year and a half, then started dropping again at the end of his term of office (see chart below). The year he left office (2007), the trend in Massachusetts' unemployment rate was the 11th best in the nation [15], a big improvement from the 50th place it was in the year he won office.
While jobs were shrinking by the thousands each month in Massachusetts when he took office [16], by the time he left office, "the state had attracted hundreds of new companies and added [a net total of] 60,000 new jobs." [17] It takes time for pro-growth policies to effect the economy, but before the end of his first year in office the job losses had stopped, and in his remaining time in office 81,000 new jobs were created.[18]
Its clear that Mitt Romney improved the Bay State's unemployment ranking from 50th to 11th in the nation. Mitt Romney's record is eually impressive when look at his record from another perspective. A blogger explains that did better than most states did on average and was able to obtain full employment for his state: 
The invalid conclusion that Romney-bashers hope you’ll buy into is that,  in terms of employment,  Massachusetts did poorly, compared to the other fifty states.  Unfortunately for them, that simply isn’t true! In fact, Massachusetts beat the national average for unemployment for three out of the four years that Romney was Governor. Take a look at these numbers, and let the 2002-2006 employment numbers for MA speak for themselves, or more accurately, speak for Gov. Romney. Mitt Romney assumed the office of Governor in Jan 2003 and left in Jan 2007:
Mo/Year MA USA
Jan 2003 5.6% 5.8%
Jun 2003 6.0% 6.3%
Jan 2004 5.6% 5.7%
Jun 2004 5.3% 5.6%
Jan 2005 4.9% 5.3%
Jun 2005 4.8% 5.0%
Jan 2006 4.8% 4.7%
Jun 2006 4.8% 4.6%
Compare these numbers to the US unemployment rate of 7.8% when Barack Obama took office in January 2009.   By January 2010, it was up to an astounding 9.7%, and in January 2011, it was 9.0%.   Yet, in spite of these miserable numbers,  President Obama’s supporters have the chutzpah to criticize Mitt Romney for an average unemployment rate of 5.2%?
Most people may not be aware of this, but the United States Congress passed a law in 1946 called the Full Employment Act, which was later amended as part of the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978.  As part of this law, which is still on the books, the statutory definition of “full employment” was set as 4% unemployment for persons aged 16 or older.  In 1999, the U.S.  Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) updated and issued their definition of the “full-employment unemployment rate” as being between 4 to 6.4%.
In other words, according to congressional statute and the OECD, the state of Massachusetts was at or very near full employment during Governor Romney’s four years in office – a goal that the federal government has never even come close to accomplishing in the 65 years since the Full Employment Act of 1946 was made law.
Bottom line:  The Obama team will continue to toss out that “47th in jobs-growth” statistic, hoping you’ll buy into the false notion that the jobs picture in Massachusetts was a poor one.   When it came to unemployment, Massachusetts did better than the national average for 3 out of 4 years during Romney’s term, and achieved better than half the unemployment rate that the nation suffers under now. Instead of criticizing Romney’s jobs record, perhaps President Obama would be well-served to try and learn something from it.
No matter how you look at Mitt Romney's record, it is a record that is not very easy to criticize. Some people will point out that job growth in that state was not very consistent. However, that claim is not true.  According to, unemployment in Massachusetts hit hit its lowest point at the end of the first year of Mitt Romney's term but Mitt Romney was able to turn it around and that the number of jobs only declined in seven of the remaining 36 months of his term.
There are some additional facts about Mitt Romney's record of creating jobs that I'd like to share with you. First of all, not only did Mitt Romney was able to get full employment for his state, his economic policies created a surge in the development of businesses:   
"Under Ranch C. Kimball, who became Romney's secretary of economic development in 2004, the number of companies in the Massachusetts development pipeline jumped from 13 to 288 in three years."(Brian C. Mooney, Stephanie Ebbert and Scott Helman, "Ambitious Goals; Shifting Stances," The Boston Globe, 6/30/2007)
Anther important fact that makes Romney's record of job creation so impressive is that people's income rose substantially under his administration. The per capita income grew by 17% which out paced the per capita personal income growth for the entire United States:
In 2003, Massachusetts per capita personal income was $39,442 and rose to $45,877 in 2006.(U.S. Department Of Commerce, Bureau Of Economic Analysis, "State Annual Personal Income,", Accessed: 7/29/2007) 
In 2005, Massachusetts Had A Per Capita Personal Income (PCPI) Of $43,501. This PCPI Ranked 3rd In The United States And Was 126 Percent Of The National Average, $34,471.(U.S. Department Of Commerce, Bureau Of Economic Analysis, "State BEARFACTS 1995 – 2005: Massachusetts,", Accessed: 7/29/2007)
With unemployment as the number one concern for Americans, everyone ought to be taking a close look at each of the 2012 contenders job creation record.  People will find all kinds of ways to attack Mitt Romney's record on jobs but if you analyze the facts and look at it closely, you'll find that the criticism lacks merit because they do not match with the public record. 
As a result of looking closely at his record, it tells us a few important things. He knows how to create jobs. He knows how to get businesses growing. He knows how to create the right policies so that people are earning more income. This means he has the skills, knowledge and leadership capability of required for a national leader in helping to fix our nation's economic problems.  Those are the qualities that America needs and is looking for. Mitt Romney has it. That's why we need him in the White House in 2012. 
Next, we will look at Mitt Romney's leadership style to see what makes him so successful in business and politics.

No comments:

Post a Comment