Do you live in a red state or blue state? Some may say it doesn’t matter, but for job creation, new analysis suggests that it does.
Red or conservative-leaning states have a slight edge in job creation claims compared with blue or liberal-leaning states.
The differences are now overwhelming but they are clearly discernible.
CNBC analyzed the percentage gain in net new jobs from Q4 2009 through June 2015. All states have added jobs, but nine red states hit it out of the park with net job gains of four percent or better compared with only 4 blue states: North Dakota (7.5 percent), Texas (6.8 percent), South Carolina (6.4 percent), Utah (6.3 percent), Idaho (6 percent), Indiana (5.2 percent), North Carolina (5.1 percent), Montana (4.8 percent), Louisiana (4 percent) and Oklahoma (4 percent). Among blue states, Delaware led the pack at 6.3 percent followed by Hawaii (5.9 percent), California (5.7 percent) and Massachusetts (4.9 percent.)
Not every red state did well. West Virginia scored lowest of all states with negative job growth and Kansas was under one percent. Joining the lag-behinds on the blue side were New Mexico and Vermont.
Interestingly, CNBC took the analysis a step further beyond just net-job growth to the kind of well-being Americans are experiencing in those states by measuring personal income. Red states had an advantage showing strong personal income growth. Fifteen red states showed income gains of 2 percent or better just edging out 14 blue-hued states that posted comparable income gains.
Once again North Dakota took the top slot with 3 percent gains.
As CNBC explains, this analysis is helpful for voters as we wade through the claims by candidates and parties about who has created jobs and, implicitly, which policies, philosophies, and approaches to the size and role of government drive jobs.
In the first Republican presidential debate last week, current and former governors were quick to cite jobs gains as part of their record of success, including former governor Jeb Bush (Florida, 1.3 million jobs claimed) and current governors John Kasich (Ohio, 350,000 jobs), Chris Christie (New Jersey, 192,000 jobs) and Scott Walker (Wisconsin, who cited a drop in the jobless rate from "over 8 percent" to 4.6 percent.)
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry claimed the biggest jobs gains, saying his state had created 1.5 million jobs "during the worst economic time this country's had since the Great Depression, while the rest of the country lost 400,000 jobs."
Democrats, on the other hand, can point to the ongoing economic recovery and take credit as the party in power during the recovery, a point underscored by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech in January.
It is true that the American economy has staged a comeback –though weak- and made up for the roughly 8.7 million net jobs lost from early 2008 through the start of 2010.
One problem is that where there has been job growth, those have been part-time jobs and low-wage jobs. Further the civilian labor force rate is at its lowest level in almost four decades with a record 93,770,000 Americans not in the labor force. In addition, the number of long-term unemployed Americans is little changed.
We need more solid job growth across all of our states to make a meaningful change in the lives and well-being of more Americans.