"What Texas miracle?" Chris Matthews snorted at the open of his September 16 program, noting that "Today we learned that the Texas unemployment rate hit 8.5 percent last month" and that "the state actually lost jobs last month, even worse than the national figure of zero jobs created."
"So where's the Texas miracle now?" a smug "Hardball" host asked his audience.
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Of course Matthews left out that the net loss was due to cuts in government jobs, whereas the private sector expanded by "8,100 to 8.77 million in August compared to the month earlier." What's more, "[p]rivate sector hiring was up 272,200 jobs over August a year ago," reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Nationwide in August, there were zero net jobs created, although Jamie Dupree of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Obama administration has "emphasized the positive by saying that private job numbers still increased in August by 17,000."
That would mean that Texas private sector job growth accounts for roughly 47 percent of new private sector jobs created in August 2011.
Even so, Matthews insisted to liberal guests David Corn and Dana Milbank that Perry's state was starting to stagnate economically while Obama is finally seeing an economic turnaround:
If you look at the numbers this way, the unemployment rate is rising up to 8.5 percent in Texas, Texas, but it's coming down nationally at least. It hasn't been great. It stalled a bit now, but it's come down from something like well over 10 percent nationwide in 19-oh, uh, 2009.
So in a way, the directions are off. A guy who's saying I'm the big job creator is having unemployment rise. The president's who's got a problem is at least going in the other direction.