Truth Test: Gov. Deal’s Job Claims

Truth Test: Gov. Deal's Job Claims (Image 1)

    Governor Nathan Deal is on the air with a poignant re-election ad ahead of his primary challenge on May 20th.
    It makes a single claim: Georgia is the number one place to do business.
    The premise for the ad comes from Georgia’s #1 ranking by Site Selection magazine for business climate in 2013.
     Most important to the rankings: existing work force skills, transportation infrastructure and state and local tax scheme.
     All areas where georgia would do well.
     With the governor on Tybee Island Monday, we went asking questions to put the ad into context, along with other claims he makes on his campaign web site.
     First, Georgia’s strong performance in business climate rankings like this one does come with downsides.
     CNBC’s most recent rankings put Georgia eighth, but that comes with an internal ranking of 32nd for quality of life.
     And another reason for Georgia’s high workforce rankings are low wages.
     The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics puts Georgia 35th in hourly earnings and 32nd in weekly earnings.
     Still, Gov. Deal Monday expressed reservations about a federal minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour.
     “I would listen to the arguments, but I think we have to recognize there are certain individuals in the workforce who, when the minimum wage is increased, cannot find employment at any level,” Deal said.
    Another claim on Deal’s web site are unemployment stats, something he repeated Monday.
    “Unemployment is at a five-year low,” Deal said.
    True enough, the claim happens to coincide with the bottoming out of the economy after the financial meltdown.
     In fact, Deal’s web site claim of an unemployment rate drop from 10.4 percent to 7.7 percent even takes credit for the twelve months of jobs numbers before he took office.
     In context, Georgia’s unemployment rate is worse than the national average.
     And its workforce is still about 100,000 people smaller than its all-time high in December 2007.
     All while the population has increased by nearly 300,000 people.
     Get ready to hear lots of job claims in races all over Georgia and South Carolina, always tailored to the respective candidate’s best interests.

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