Politifact Virginia: Can McDonnell call himself a "jobs governor?"

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia's unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, well below the national average. Is that enough for Bob McDonnell to call himself a "jobs governor?"

Bob McDonnell wants to be known as the jobs governor. So much so that during his recent State of the Commonwealth address he compared his job creation record to that of governor Tim Kaine. He said:

"Since February 2010, Virginia has added 67,900 net new jobs, the third-highest number in the nation. We ranked 35th in this same category in 2009."

He doesn't mention Kaine directly, but Kaine was governor in 2009. McDonnell has been governor since January of 2010.

So are his figures correct?

According to the reporters of Politifact Virginia, the governor's claim is "half-truth." So where does his math not quite add up?

The governor claims Virginia is third in the nation in job growth.

But that is a raw number that doesn't take population into account. That number boosts Virginia's rank from 35 to third.

But when population is taken into account the move is not quite as remarkable.  Virginia goes from 14th to 5th.

That's why Jacob Geiger of the Richmond Times-Dispatch believes this can't be 100 percent true.

"We decided it was better to rely on a percentage based figure, because as one person told us, a Harvard economist gaining 1,000 jobs at a place like Idaho, a relatively small state, is much more important than gaining 1,000 jobs in a much bigger place like New York or Virginia," Geiger said.

And you can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com. And you can see all our past reports on my political blog, www.DecisionVirginia.com.

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