In an article this morning in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Gov. Mike Beebe continued his talking points on the amount of jobs announced instead of actual job numbers. But it got a bit messy when reporters pressed him on it.
Beebe said the state has lost thousands of jobs, but “we have also created over 27,000 new jobs in the midst of the worst recession,” and that Wall Street — not Arkansas — caused the recession.
He later acknowledged that the state just announced plans to create more than 27,000 jobs, but said he doesn’t know the number of jobs actually created.
So Beebe has the talking points down by heart, but don’t ask him how many of these press releases from the AEDC have actually resulted in real job creation. Don’t ask him about the number of jobs leaving the state. If you do, he might accuse you of bad-mouthing Arkansas.
His press secretary scrambled to put something together after this misstep.
Beebe spokesman Stacey Hall later noted that the state’s civilian work force was 1,379,400 in August, compared with 1,362,300 in August 2007. It dipped to 1,352,300 in August 2009 and has increased each August since then.
Again, this is cherry-picked numbers that try to make this look better for the governor. The actual number from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for January 2007 – when Beebe took office – until August 2012 – the latest data available – is a net loss of 33,500 jobs. But if these numbers are confusing here is the graph directly from the BLS website.