A Look at Texas' Job Growth With Rick Perry as Governor

Texas Governor Rick Perry is set to announce that he will be running for President in 2012.

Many Republican voters believe that Rick Perry gives the GOP the best chance of taking back the White House in 2012.

Why so confident?

One of the biggest reasons - Perry's job creation record while governor of Texas.

Rick Perry next to the mini Texas.gov logoHaving said that, I thought that I would take a look at Texas' unemployment data while Rick Perry has been governor of the state.

Rick Perry took over as Governor of Texas when George W. Bush left to become President of the country. Perry officially assumed office on December 21st, 2000, and has been governor ever since. Perry is currently the longest serving governor in the country, having been elected to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

In December of 2000, when Rick Perry officially assumed office, the unemployment rate in Texas was 4.2%. At the time, the nation's unemployment rate was just 3.9%.

By December of 2001, Texas' unemployment rate had increased to 6.0%, following the trajectory of a nation that was suffering through a terrorist attack and recession.

By December of 2002, Texas' unemployment rate was sitting at 6.6%. Texas' unemployment rate continued to creep higher, while the nation's unemployment rate had more or less topped out at 6%.

After hitting a high of 6.9% in June and July of 2003, Texas ended the year with an unemployment rate of 6.4%. By the end of 2003, the United States had an unemployment rate of 5.7%.

From 2004-2006, the unemployment rate in Texas steadily dropped from 6.4% all the way down to just 4.5% in December of 2006. The United States finished 2006 with an unemployment rate of 4.4%.

In 2007, the national unemployment rate started to tick higher, starting the year at 4.6% and finishing the year at 4.9%. Texas, on the other hand, was steady as a rock, starting the year at 4.4% and finishing the year at 4.4%.

In 2008, things started to go haywire in the United States, and the national unemployment rate surged as a result. The near-collapse of the financial system in the fall of 2008 put a tremendous amount of pressure on the US economy, and the nation's unemployment rate surged as a result, finishing the year at 7.2%. Texas also moved higher, finishing the year at 6.1%.

We all know how the unemployment rate in the United States has bounced around between roughly 9-10% since the beginning of 2009. How has Texas fared during that time?

The answer? Better than the country as a whole. At the end of 2009, Texas had an unemployment rate of 8.2%. At the end of 2010, 8.3%.


Let's break down these numbers further.

From 2001-2010, Texas had an annual employment growth rate of 1.15%, which was the third best in the country during that time. From 2001-2010, Texas' population grew 1.89% per year.

According to this article, Texas currently employs 8% of the nation's workers.

Perry has been extremely aggressive when it comes to luring (or trying to lure) companies to set up shop in his state - "job raiding" as some people call it.


If Perry wins the Republican nomination in 2012, you can safely assume that his record of job creation while governor of Texas will be a primary focal point for his campaign.

Source: Historical State Unemployment Rates

Photo: Gage Skidmore