Republican governors, statehouses linked to job creation more than Democrats

Republican governors and GOP-controlled state legislatures presided over 16 percent more job creation than their Democratic counterparts from January 2010 to April 2012, according to a Daily Caller analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment data.

April was the most recent month for which online data was available on the BLS. All 50 states experienced job losses through most of 2009; many began recording job gains by the end of that year.

Raw BLS data indicated that since the beginning of 2010 Republicans at the state level oversaw the introduction of nearly 700,000 more jobs into the U.S. economy than Democrats.

TheDC adjusted those numbers because Republicans held power in more states during some months, while Democrats held the advantage at other times. The results indicate that if Republicans and Democrats held equal numbers of governorships and controlled the same number of state legislative houses, Republicans would come out ahead by 200,000 jobs during that 28-month period.

To some degree, President Barack Obama has pinned his re-election hopes on Americans’ perception of his skills as a job creator, saying that job gains since his inauguration were a result of policies he enacted.

“Over the past two years, our businesses have added nearly 4 million new jobs,” the president said in a campaign speech on March 9. “In February [2012], we added 233,000 private-sector jobs.”

But while the White House may swing a sledgehammer at unemployment, state governments wield finer instruments and operate closer to the local economies where employment grows or shrinks. Governors on both the left and the right have laid claim to job gains.

“We created more jobs in Massachusetts than this president’s created in the entire country,” said presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Jan. 3. “So if the president wants to talk about jobs, and I hope he does, we’ll be comparing my record with his record and he comes up very, very short.”

TheDC analyzed the change in monthly employment for all 50 states and determined which party controlled the states’ governments year to year, and to what degree.

Power in some states was split with, for instance, one party controlling the governor’s mansion while the other led both houses of the state legislature. TheDC’s analysis assigned 50-50 responsibility for job gains in those states.

Others had split legislative houses, with one party’s governor holding a veto pen. In those cases, the governor’s party was given credit for “creating” two-thirds of all new jobs reported in the BLS data.

Still other states had governor’s mansions and state legislatures uniformly controlled by one party. Credit for their job gains was assigned to the party in control. This was also the case with Nebraska, whose state legislature is unicameral — it has only one legislative body — and is officially nonpartisan.

Disagreement still exists about whether state governments have more control over job creation than the federal government.