Rick Perry has made much of the “Texas Miracle” of job growth, but it may not be as miraculous as it first appears. According to the New York Times, many of the jobs added during Perry’s time as governor pay only minimum wage.
“Much of Texas’s recent growth is the result of adding low-wage jobs. Of the 211,000 jobs added last year, 37 percent (or more than 76,000) paid at or below minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas now leads the nation in minimum-wage workers (550,000 in all). That hasn’t improved our income inequality. Despite the good economy, Texas remains a state of extreme wealth and desperate poverty.”
And Rick Perry’s latest budget squeezes the fastest-growing sectors of the Texas economy, which will surely lead to more job losses. The Austin American-Statesman reports:
“Almost half of the state’s job growth the past two years was led by education, health care and government, the sectors of the economy that will now take a hit as federal stimulus money runs out and the Legislature’s 8 percent cut in state spending translates into thousands of layoffs among state workers and teachers in the coming weeks.”
Texas may have added more jobs than any other state in the last year, but most of those jobs won’t help American workers escape poverty — and Rick Perry’s single-minded focus on cutting government spending means that many of the jobs added won’t be around next year.
Copyright 2011 The National Memo