Labor economist James Sherk, a senior policy analyst in labor economics at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told TheDC that, “State policies do affect job growth, but through their role in creating a helpful/harmful business climate — not through direct hiring.”
Ethan Pollack, senior policy adviser at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, charged that most of the rise in overall U.S. employment in 2010 and 2011 was a direct result of the stimulus spending initiated by Obama.
“The biggest contributing factor,” Pollack said, “was the $144 billion states and local governments received” from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Attributing job creation to any federal or state government entity is disputable, cautioned Ted DeHaven, budget analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute. Governments only “influence conditions that create jobs — conditions like a lighter regulatory touch and a lighter tax burden.”
“These types of analyses can be very problematic,” DeHaven said, explaining that at any level — federal, state or local — job creation is a reflection of the business climate employers find themselves in.