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Fri, Oct 28, 2016 09:55
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Job growth has a pattern

As much as the president likes to insist that his economic recovery is working – which is a very debatable point – I've yet to hear him say precisely where it is working.

So I looked.

The most recent data from the Feds' Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the top seven states with the nation's lowest unemployment are:

1. North Dakota, 2.6 percent;

2. Vermont, 3.3 percent;

3. Nebraska, 3.6 percent;

4. Wyoming, 3.7 percent;

5. South Dakota, 3.8 percent;

6. Utah, 3.8 percent; and,

7. Iowa, 4.3 percent.

While I have heard the president insult many private-sector entrepreneurs ("You didn't build that), I have yet to hear an administrative speech championing the apparent employment successes of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming or what we affectionately refer to as the Corn State – after driving Interstate 80 from Omaha to the Wyoming state line. (Corn, corn, corn, corn, corn, corn; there's a tree.)

Obviously, if there is, in fact, U.S. job growth to speak of, the job growth must be somewhere. And there must be a reason or reasons.

Just out of curiosity, I looked up the governors of the afore-referenced seven states.

Those governors are:

North Dakota – Republican Jack Dalrymple;

Vermont – Democrat Peter Shumlin;

Nebraska – Republican Dave Heineman;

Wyoming – Republican Matt Mead;

South Dakota – Republican Dennis Daugaard;

Utah– Republican Gary Richard Herbert; and,

Iowa – Republican Terry Branstad.

Does anyone else notice a trend?

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the national unemployment rate is 6.3 percent. The federal agency says this is the lowest unemployment since September 2008.

In other words, it has taken the nation just a tick under six years to get back to where we were, employment wise, in 2008. (Talk about progress, you progressives.)

These are the administration's own numbers. Of course, one may suspect that the BLS will be instructed to do a better job of "framing" these numbers in the future. Otherwise, the District of Columbia unemployment rate might increase.

Not that anyone would notice.

For the record, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Washington, D.C. as 45th in the nation's unemployment standings. Who's in charge there, anyway?

Never mind.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, said governors who are "balancing budgets, reforming education, pension, tax, and regulatory systems," are seeing positive results – often in spite of Washington policies.

"It's not government, though, that creates jobs," Gov. Snyder said.

"Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and innovators are the engine of job creation. It's up to government to help create the environment where jobs can grow."

Gov. Snyder is right. Government does not create jobs. In too many cases, government causes job losses through excessive taxation and regulation. (See Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's column: "New EPA rules mean higher electricity rates, lost jobs.")

Additional data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that over a recent one-year period, states with Republican governors have added one job per every 179 state residents, while states with Democrat governors have added one job per every 227 state residents.

When looking ahead to 2016, I will grant you that states like North Dakota (3) and South Dakota (3) do not have the electoral college votes to factor in the next presidential election and, as such, will be quadrennially ignored by Democrat politicians.

But Democrats cannot afford to ignore Texas and its 38 electoral college votes and Florida and its 29 votes. Their governors? Rick Perry and Rick Scott, respectively. Both Republicans.

Both states have had business-friendly policies. In fact, while the United States' jobless rate was in the double digits from 2009-11, Texas was credited with creating 40 percent of all new jobs for those years – and almost 10 percent of the country's economy.

The president didn't build that. No community organizer could.

Maybe the next president will consult with some of the more successful state governors on economic policy. Better still, maybe the next president will be one of the state governors who understands economic policy and job growth.

Rory Ryan is Senior Editor, North American Desk, at Paperitalo Publications and the owner of The Highland County Press in Hillsboro, Ohio. He can be reached by email at or

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