DNC chair slams Christie, Romney on jobs records, but government numbers tell a different story

David Martosko Executive Editor
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HANOVER, N.H. — In an intimate briefing attended by fewer than 20 reporters Tuesday afternoon, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz attacked Republican front-runner Mitt Romney and his newest supporter, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for their job-creation records. But federal government numbers could make the Florida congresswoman rethink her talking points.

“We’re talking about a governor with a failed record on jobs, endorsing a former governor with a failed record on jobs,” she said. “If I had picked from a list of people that I would want support from politically, I would probably look for somebody who have a little more track record of success.”

Indeed, Department of Labor records show that during Romney’s four years as governor, his state of Massachusetts grew its jobs base at a 47th-place rate of just 1.6 percent per year. Only Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana fared worse.

Yet that statistic may be misleading.

During Romney’s tenure, the number of full-time employed Massachusetts residents increased by 50,000. And the state’s overall unemployment rate decreased from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent. Both numbers are confirmed by Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Neither Democrat Deval Patrick nor Republican Jane Swift, the governors who followed and preceded Romney, matched that record. Both lost a net number of jobs during their time in office. (RELATED: Christie endorses Romney: ‘The man America needs)

Under Wasserman Schultz’s leadership, the DNC’s accusation that New Jersey has lost jobs since Christie became governor has become a recurring talking point. But BLS numbers also don’t bear that out.

New Jersey’s 9.4 percent unemployment rate at the end of August ranked 15th among all 50 states. Wasserman Schultz’s home state of Florida, whose unemployment rate stood at 10.7 percent, ranked fifth-worst. Only Nevada, California, Michigan and South Carolina had higher jobless rates.

And with Christie as governor, New Jersey has seen a modest but measurable increase in jobs of four-tenths of a percent. That came during a 1.4 percent increase in the number of jobs available nationwide.

Through August, New Jersey’s total number of jobs, as measured by the BLS, increased from 3,852,600 to 3,866,600.

David is The Daily Caller’s executive editor. Follow him on Twitter