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SOTS fact checking

Monday, Feb 3, 2014

* The AP fact checks some of Gov. Pat Quinn’s claims about the Illinois economy during his State of the State address

Quinn said Illinois has added 280,000 private-sector jobs since recovery began — officially that was in January 2010 for Illinois — and that statewide unemployment is at its lowest level in almost five years.

“In fact, since last May, Illinois has led the Midwest in new jobs created,” the governor said.

The first two points are accurate, but if you compare it with other states, Illinois doesn’t always stack up well.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, a net 276,800 private-sector jobs have been added in Illinois since January 2010. That’s a 5.6 percent increase.

In that time, many Midwestern states have done better. Wisconsin’s private-sector job base has grown by 5.7 percent, Indiana’s by 8.8 percent, Michigan’s by 9.2 percent and North Dakota’s — driven by the state’s petroleum boom — leads the way at 30.2 percent.

Unemployment, which reached a recession-high of 11.3 percent in January 2010, was at 8.6 percent in December, the most recent month available from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. That’s its lowest point since the 8.5 percent rate in February 2009.

But the current unemployment rate is the third highest among the 50 states, lower only than in Nevada and Rhode Island.

Interesting stuff. Go read it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


8 Comments
  1. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    ===The first two points are accurate, but if you compare it with other states, Illinois doesn’t always stack up well.===

    So their fact check compares his statement about the last 8 months to performance by neighboring states over the the last 4 years? So is Quinn’s assertion about the last 8 months true or false? They don’t say - not a very good fact check. They just redirect the discussion by saying Illinois lags over the past 4 years but Quinn didn’t say that wasn’t the case based on this snippet.


  2. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    === since last May ===

    Notice the very selective use of timelines by the governor.

    He selectively chooses to start “measuring” at whatever points happen to make him look best.

    If we use more “natural” timelines such as beginning when he took office, or annual measurements beginning in January rather than May, the numbers tell a very different story.

    It is dishonest to selectively start “measuring” at specific points in time if the goal is to make things look better or worse than reality.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    “Notice the very selective use of timelines by the governor”

    It’s better to have growth lately than to start out stronger and get weaker, or to be weak throughout. Let’s see how this year plays out for us economically, as we get deeper into the election season.

    “If we use ‘natural’ timelines such as beginning when he took office”

    The country was in a deep recession at that time, and Illinois had zero pension reform and an even-larger revenue gap than we currently have.


  4. - walker - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    So what Quinn said was factually true, but doesn’t paint a realistic picture if you change the context?

    is that a “fact check”?


  5. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    @walker - it is like focusing strictly on the fact that Illinois lost -3,200 jobs in December.

    Neither are accurate representations of reality, and both are cherry picked to make someone look better or worse.


  6. - Quiet Sage - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    As facts in political speeches go, Quinn’s stack up pretty well.


  7. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    Remind anyone of the statements in the recent SOTU?

    Reality: Almost all politicians will cherry pick the statistics that make them look best. And their opponents will do the same for the ones to make the politician look worst.


  8. - walker - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    ===Reality: Almost all politicians will cherry pick the statistics that make them look best. And their opponents will do the same…===

    Certainly.

    My problem is that we used to rely upon news organizations like AP to sort out the difference, not simply act as the “opponent”.

    Oh well, old man walking.


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