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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 150 (FRIDAY EDITION). | WILLisms.com | Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 151. »

Job Creation.

This week, we featured five posts based on the past year's state-level job creation data. Here's a brief recap:

MONDAY: Texas, Michigan's Antithesis.

This post examines how Texas has created more than 100% of net private sector jobs in the United States in the past year. Kind of a big deal.

TUESDAY: Union States & Our Economic Slump.

This post looks at the correlation between strong unionism in a state and poor job growth. Not that surprisingly, states with lots of union members are not the states creating jobs.

WEDNESDAY: Best States For Private Job Growth.

This post examines the top and bottom states for private job creation, as a percentage of jobs (not total number of jobs). Then, it looks at three measures, including union percentage (states adding jobs have a median union percentage 5.5% lower than states losing jobs), National Taxpayers Union scores (states sending fiscally responsible people to Washington also have better job growth), and the Tax Foundation's Tax Freedom score (states growing jobs had lower taxes than states losing jobs).

THURSDAY: State & Local Tax Burden Versus Job Growth.

This post looks specifically at state and local tax burdens relative to job creation. The trend lines show that higher state and local tax burdens correlate with lower job creation-- or even job loss. Lower state and local tax burdens correlate with higher job creation.

FRIDAY: Gas Taxes Do Not Exist In A Vacuum.

This post shows that states with high gas taxes tended to perform poorly in job creation from May 2007 to May 2008. Maybe the gas taxes themselves had a little something to do with this, but it's probably more that exorbitantly high state gas taxes indicate a big government tendency and a willingness to enact all sorts of other counterproductive taxes and regulations.


The American economy is not doing particularly well right now. It's not as fundamentally bad, however, as some people seem to be almost rooting for.

There are some bright spots in the mess. Texas, for example. Texas is a right-to-work state; as a percentage of the workforce, Texas ranks in the top 5 or so lowest union states. Texas has no income tax, and its overall tax burden is in the lowest 5-10 in the nation. Texas has worked for tort reform and medical malpractice reform, which has encouraged growth in the medical sector. Texas has aggressively pursued trade with China and other countries, rather than seeking to erect barriers and isolate itself and live on past glory.

Texas is by no means a free market utopia-- our property taxes are too high, for example, and the new margins tax has not delivered the anticipated relief to homeowners-- but the job numbers over the past year do show that policies matter, and even in a period of slower economic growth, we've got a lot to offer in the global economy if we choose to make ourselves competitive.

Posted by Will Franklin · 27 June 2008 08:05 AM


I disagree about the economy being fundamentally bad. We have dozens of individual economies and I would argue that Michigan's economy and several other midwest economies are fundamentally bad. The states that are bad are fundamentally bad and really bad at that. Ohio is fast approaching Michigan which harms Republican's chances in 08.

But the sun belt is booming. It attracts investment dollars. It attracts people from the high tax midwest. And if not for the housing slump, Arizona and Nevada along with Texas and Florida would be leading the country in growth.

Posted by: Justin B at June 27, 2008 12:49 PM