Rod Blagojevich jumped out in front of the media earlier this month to proclaim that Illinois had created more jobs than any state in the country in April.
Well, new numbers are out, and he's hiding out in his bungalow. That's because Illinois lost 3,800 jobs in May.
That cements the Blagojevich record on jobs as squarely 45th in the country since he became governor. I don't know if anyone remembers the 2002 campaign, but Rod ran lots of TV commercials promising lots of new jobs.
Since he's been such an abysmal failure on jobs, Rod has resorted to four strategies to fool Illinois citizens and the media on the topic. They are:
1. Raw numbers vs. percentages. When comparing Illinois to other states, the Blagojevich administration always uses raw numbers. That's because Illinois has the fifth largest job base of the 50 states (Behind California, New York, Florida and Texas) and even a mediocre job month will place Illinois in the top third of states in raw number of jobs created. It's elementary math. The only fair and accurate way to compare Illinois to other states is using percentages. When percentages are used, the size of the state's job base is in effect factored out so actual growth can be more accurately compared. Since Rod became governor, Illinois' job growth percentage has been 1.2 percent, ranking it 45 of 50 states (January 2003-May 2006).
2. Selective time periods. Occasionally, the Blagojevich administration will pick a stretch of months where job performance has not been as bad as other months and twist it to proclaim that Illinois is performing well. By far the best benchmark is when Rod took office in January 2003. All of his job performance should be judged from that point forward.
3. Campaign promise. Rod Blagojevich told voters in 2002 he'd create 250,000 jobs during his first term. His term has only a few months remaining and jobs have risen by only 67,900 during his tenure.
4. Phony figures. The Illinois Auditor General said earlier this year that Blagojevich's administration inflated job creation figures by 78,000. The numbers came from Blagojevich's Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. Therefore, the only numbers that should be believed come from the U.S. Dept. of Labor.