Gov. Perry's Not-So-Bold Promise On Job Creation

October 26, 2011 3:09 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

In the first official television ad of his presidential campaign, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) confidently promises to create at least 2.5 million new jobs if he is elected. As Steve Benen points out, Perry's standard for success makes it significantly more difficult for him to criticize President Obama's record on job creation: 

What an interesting metric for success.

In fact, if Perry believes voters should be impressed with his vow to create 2.5 million jobs, the Texas governor should probably be more impressed with President Obama's jobs record.

Let's consider the jobs data. Over the last year and a half, as the economic recovery has slowly progressed, the economy has added 2.56 million private-sector jobs. Over that same period — March 2010 through September 2011 — the overall economy has added 2.1 million jobs, and should reach the 2.5 million mark by early next year.

While Republicans often claim that Obama's policies have stood in the way of private-sector job creation, the economic reality of the past few years is steady private-sector growth and public-sector decline:

On the other hand, Perry's claim to a successful economic record in Texas relies heavily on a "boom in government jobs," according to the Wall Street Journal