Monday, January 24, 2011
Texas Economy Struggling Under Republicans
Texas added 230,800 jobs in December, Workforce Commission says
I imagine that a lot of people read the headline and didn't actually click on it to read the article attached. And anyone who did that had to have gotten a wrong impression of what is happening in the Texas economy. They'd probably think that's a hell of a lot of jobs for one state to add in one month, even if the month is December (when a lot of temporary holiday workers are hired). The economy must be really picking up in the Lone Star State.
Unfortunately, that's just not true. For one thing, 230,800 jobs weren't created in the state in December. That's the number of jobs that were created in Texas for the entire year of 2010. The number of jobs created in Texas in December was only somewhere around 20,000 (without seasonal adjustment for temporary holiday workers).
In addition, that 230,800 jobs did not come close to making up for the 359,000 jobs lost in the state in 2009. And the number of jobs created in December did not even keep up with the number of people entering the work force. The unemployment rate actually climbed by 0.1% in December and now sits at 8.3% (not counting the people who's benefits have run out, who have given up looking for work, or who are working part-time because they can't find full-time work).
And that doesn't count what the Republican legislature is fixing to do to the Texas economy. The House's Legislative Budget Board has recommended massive cuts to the state budget (and the Senate's recommendations are expected to be as bad). These cuts would eliminate around 10,000 state jobs and make huge cuts to education -- cuts that some think could result in the lay-oof of 100,000 teachers and other school employees statewide.
These cuts in employment will ripple through the state economy and cause lay-offs in other industries (and result in a further hit to the state's sales tax figures). In spite of all this, our governor continues to brag about the state's economy. He's not just wrong -- he's a fool.
The Texas economy is not doing well at all, and when the legislature finishes there work this session it will be doing even worse. We are probably looking at another year where job losses outnumber job creations. As usual, the Republicans have taken a booming economy and thrown it in the dumper.