August Unemployment Up in 26 States. But BLS shows Rope-a-Dope AGAIN (updated)

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 - Save & Share - 2 Comments

Chris Rock: Voting for CancerLast May, I reported that the “States most likely to REJECT austerity to lower unemployment are Republican”, which surprised me, because I started my investigation expecting to find that Republican governors were laying off a massive number of public sector workers out of a Zealot-like belief in “Austerity”. What I found instead was shocking (well, not really. GOP-hypocrisy doesn’t shock me anymore): While publicly condemning growth in the size of Government, Republican governors in Red states were the MOST likely to EXPAND the public sector workforce by hiring tens-of-thousands of new government employees to bring down their own state’s unemployment. Most conspicuous was Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose state’s low unemployment was dubbed “The Texas Miracle”. So when I learned Friday that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced a preliminary report showing that Unemployment rose in 26 States in August, I thought my original suspicion would finally be confirmed: that Red State governors were laying off public-sector workers en masse to hurt President Obama in November, but instead, I found further confirmation of my initial report last May showing that Republican governors are actually the ones doing the most government-hiring (I’ll leave it to you to reason why).

So I went to the BLS looking for that list of “26 states”, and while they linked to their report on their homepage, it doesn’t actually list the “26 states” specifically, but instead lists states with the “greatest change in employment” over the past month vs one year ago.

“Table C” of the BLS Report (ibid) lists just 14 states with the largest change in net “employment” (combined private/public):

Statistically significant employment changes from July'12 to August'12,
seasonally adjusted (Emphasis mine).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |     July    |   August    | Over-the-month
           State              |     2012    |   2012(p)   |    change(p)  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Connecticut...................|   1,631,600 |   1,624,800 |      -6,800   
Delaware......................|     417,100 |     415,100 |      -2,000   
District of Columbia..........|     738,600 |     727,400 |     -11,200   
Florida.......................|   7,325,100 |   7,348,300 |      23,200
Hawaii........................|     598,500 |     602,600 |       4,100   
Idaho.........................|     612,700 |     616,600 |       3,900   
Missouri......................|   2,639,800 |   2,657,700 |      17,900
New Mexico....................|     798,200 |     792,300 |      -5,900   
Oklahoma......................|   1,588,000 |   1,598,400 |      10,400
Oregon........................|   1,634,400 |   1,643,200 |       8,800   
                              |             |             |              
Texas.........................|  10,807,600 |  10,845,600 |      38,000
Vermont.......................|     305,600 |     303,200 |      -2,400   
Virginia......................|   3,723,800 |   3,711,400 |     -12,400   
Washington....................|   2,880,200 |   2,871,400 |      -8,800   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.

Four states jump out right away: Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, all showing job growth GROWTH in the double digits while most other states show job losses in the thousands. My curiosity piqued, I decided to see just where that “job growth” took place:

Private sector employment by state in thousands
(color denotes Governor's party):
                      July 2012    Aug 2012    net loss/gain
Florida..............  9,271.2      9,261.2    -10.0
Missouri.............  2,998.1      2,987.2    -10.9
Oklahoma.............  1,795.7      1,798.9     +3.2
Texas................ 12,642.2     12,628.9    -13.3

The only one of those four states to actually show growth in private sector employment was Oklahoma, which saw just over 3,000 jobs created in August. Yet look at “Table C” again. Each state showed positive job growth well over ten-thousand (even in the tens of thousands). Those jobs could ONLY have come from hiring in the public sector:

Change in PUBLIC sector hiring (in thousands):
                      #chg in     #net jobs   #gov jobs   UE rate:  UE rate:
                    private jobs    added       added       July     August
Florida...........    -10.0         23.2        +33.2       8.8       8.8
Missouri..........    -10.9         17.9         +7.9       7.2       7.2
Oklahoma..........     +3.2         10.4         +7.2       4.9       5.1
Texas.............    -13.3         38.0        +51.0       7.1       7.1

THIRTY-THREE THOUSAND public-sector jobs added in Florida. FIFTY-ONE THOUSAND public-sector jobs added in Texas. And in all four states, this massive hiring was necessary just to maintain the status quo (Oklahoma, whose UE rate ticked up, also hired the fewest public sector workers in our group).

Meanwhile, nationally, the unemployment rate is stuck stubbornly above 8-percent because if the Federal government did what the deep-red states of Texas & Florida are doing to keep their unemployment rates low, The Right in this country would howl like a coyote bays at the moon over President Obama’s “fiscal irresponsibility”.

I’m just sayin’.
 

(UPDATE: It bears noting that of the remaining 24 states, 12 saw their unemployment rate go down and 12 saw their rate stay the same. The rate fell in 42 states (plus DC) vs one year ago (rates rose in 7 states, and stayed the same in 1). The National Unemployment Rate fell a full point vs 1 year ago.)

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