by Tara Servatius
Meck Deck blogger
When Foxx took office in December 2009, the city was arguably at its low point, and reeling from the financial crisis that broke out in September 2008.
The number of people employed in the city had fallen to just under 311,000 – the lowest number during the recession. The unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, which was the city’s highest during this downturn.
Since then, the number of people holding jobs in the city has ticked up, slowly. As of July 2011, there were 315,140 people with jobs in the city. The unemployment rate in July was 9.8 percent.
The way the piece is written creates the misleading impression that the city has added 5,000 jobs since Foxx took office. That is not exactly what happened. (Click here if you want to see the Charlotte employment numbers published by the state employment security commission.)
Since Foxx has been in office, the number of jobs in the city has hit a high of 318,278 in May 2010 (that’s up from the Observer’s 311,000 when he took office). After that, the city shed thousands of jobs it has never been able to get back and hit rock bottom in January 2011, when it was back to the 311, 802, roughly where it was when Foxx took office.
The numbers have tilted back up again a bit to the 315,000 employed range, but there is a catch. Things appear to be headed south in the Charlotte jobs market. Starting in March of this year, there were fewer people employed in the city each month than there were during the same month last year. (The July number the Observer uses hasn’t been adjusted yet, so it’s pretty useless.)
And then there is the bigger problem that the former author of this blog used to pull his hair out over. For the Observer to start with the low point of 311,000 people employed in Charlotte when Foxx took office is a bit misleading as it glosses over the full devastation of jobs massacre this city has seen. In 2007 and 2008, on any given month about 339,000 people had jobs. So we are down 26,000 to 28,000 jobs since the recession started. In the face of those numbers, Foxx is essentially getting nowhere, but the Observer is, of course, never going to tell you that.
The Observer is right that Foxx essentially has no power to have much influence on the loss or gain of jobs in the city, as they point out in the article. The problem is that they and other local media keep letting Foxx take credit for the creation of jobs all the suits uptown know he didn’t create — and that haven’t actually been created if you read the above.
It’s a claim we all know they wouldn’t let a Republican get away with.