When Terry Branstad ran for governor in 2010, he made a job-creation promise. One of Branstad’s top state agency managers was in the governor’s office today to say that goal has been met.
“We just went over 200,000 jobs created since the beginning of the Branstad Administration,” Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said during a budget presentation.
Townsend leads agency that manages Iowa unemployment and workers comp cases. She said more than 206,000 jobs have been created since January of 2011. Iowa’s unemployment rate currently sits at three-and-a-half percent.
“So good news on the economic front, on the jobs front,” Townsend said.
Critics say the Branstad Administration’s math is “bogus” because it does not calculate job losses, only job gains. According to the Iowa Policy Project, a liberal think tank, the actual number of jobs added in Iowa since January 2011 is nearly 101,700. And the group points to stats showing Iowa is still nearly 35,000 jobs short of fully recovering from the last recession.