Correction to the NYT Correction on Cuomo Jobs Record

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Tuesday, 12 March 2013 20:06

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been bragging about job growth on his watch. The NYT has a piece challenging Cuomo's claims. It tells readers:

"The number of private-sector jobs increased by 4 percent in New York State from January 2011 to January 2013, according to the State Labor Department. Nationwide, over the same period, private sector jobs grew by 4.4 percent.

"Those figures come despite the fact that New York State lost fewer jobs, as a percentage, than the nation did in the Great Recession."

Actually the fact that New York lost fewer jobs in the downturn would be an argument as to why it would create fewer jobs in the upturn.

Every state will have some amount of normal job growth consistent with the growth of the labor force. It will also have additional job growth associated with a backlog of unemployed workers who are looking to find work. In the extreme case where a state lost no jobs in the downturn this backlog would be zero. In that case, the only source of job growth will be the normal growth of the labor force.

Obviously New York did lose jobs in the downturn, but the fact that it lost a smaller number relative to the size of its labor force would be argument as to why we would expect slower job growth now, not an argument as to why growth would be faster.

I'll let Cuomo's crew argue their own case on their record, but on this particular point the NYT got it wrong.