Right-Wing Media Use Deceptive Numbers To Puff Up GOP Governors' Jobs Record


Fox News and Breitbart.com are cherry-picking numbers to suggest that the election of Republican governors in 2010 led to lower unemployment in 17 states. In fact, the trend toward lower unemployment began in these states before the new governors took office, and unemployment has dropped in every state but one since January 2011.

Right-Wing Theme: Electing GOP Governors Lowered Unemployment In 17 States

Fox's Doocy: "Every State That Elected A Republican Governor In 2010 Saw A Drop In Unemployment Rates." From Fox & Friends:

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Take a look at that. Every state that elected a Republican governor in 2010 saw a drop in unemployment rates. For instance, in my home state of Kansas, .8 percent. Maine .6, Michigan, 2.4 percent, New Mexico 1, Oklahoma 1.4 and it goes on and on. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/9/12]

Fox Graphic Highlights 17 States With New GOP Governors, Says "Unemployment Rates Dropping." From Fox & Friends:

[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/9/12]

Fox Graphic: "Republican-Led Recovery." From Fox & Friends:

[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/9/12]

Fox Graphic: "Tea Party's Power." From Fox & Friends:

[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/9/12]

Breitbart.com: "Unemployment Rate Dropped In Every State That Elected A Republican Gov. In 2010." From Breitbart.com :

In 2010, influenced by the Tea Party and its focus on fiscal issues, 17 states elected Republican governors. And, according to an Examiner.com analysis, every one of those states saw a drop in their unemployment rates since January of 2011. [Breitbart.com, 7/8/12]

Reality: Unemployment Was Dropping In All 17 States Before New GOP Governors Took Office

Unemployment Declines Began In 2009 And 2010. Some states, like Michigan, began to see unemployment drop in the fall of 2009, while others, like Nevada, saw decreases begin in the last few months of 2010. Table made with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

[Media Matters, BLS data via FRED, accessed 7/9/12, (.xlsx)]

Reality: 49 States Have Seen Unemployment Drop Since January 2011

Decrease In Unemployment Has Been A Nationwide Trend. The following is a table showing the change in unemployment for all states between January 2011 and May 2012. (The May 2012 data are preliminary):

[Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2012), 6/15/12; FRED (January 2011), accessed 7/9/12 (.xlsx))]

Posted In
Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
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