On the campaign trail, presidential hopeful and Texas Governor Rick Perry often touts his state’s robust job growth under his watch. However, some of the reported job growth from one of Perry’s signature initiatives may actually be an overstatement, with numbers being pumped up through dubious accounting practices.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Perry has credited the Texas Enterprise Fund, an economic-development initiative he started eight years ago, with creating 59,000 jobs in the state through various grants and loans. Yet some of those job gains have come, according to the state’s figures, in areas loosely related to the projects funded by those grants.
In a report to the legislature this year, Perry said the Texas A&M Institute for Genomic Medicine — which received a $50 million grant in 2005 — had already produced 12,000 jobs, with another 5,000 on the way. To reach that figure though, state officials added up every job created in Texas since 2005 in fields arguably related to genomic medicine, including, “dental equipment, fertiliser manufacturing and medical imaging.”
Perry also reported that a $25 million grant to help build a medical-imaging research facility in Houston has created 2,000 jobs. A spokesman for the facility, however, told the Journal that that figure included not just added jobs in the new facility, but new hires anywhere in the centre and at a sister university as well.
Other grants dolled have not produced the jobs they were supposed to create. In a report released last year, a nonprofit group back in Texas rated only 11 of 50 TEP grants as, “performing,” while noting that the others had ben cancelled or modified.
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