Hopefully, the last week and a half of the GOP primary race for governor will be more illuminating than the race up to this point. The candidates hoping to unseat the governor should be directing their energy to job creation and ways to improve the economy.
The two front-runners have an argument for being job creators, but who should get the lion’s share of the credit?
Governor Kay Ivey, believes she has a good track record:
“In only a year, more than $6 billion have been invested, 13,000 jobs have been created and we have achieved record low unemployment,” she wrote in response to a questionnaire by Alabama Policy Institute and Yellowhammer News.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle’s response in the same questionnaire is pretty stunning:
“Over the last 10 years I have created more jobs than all other Alabama counties combined. That’s 63% of all jobs in the state of Alabama. I have created 53% of the jobs in this state announced while Governor Ivey has been in office.”
Why this matters:
Governor Ivey’s term in office started on April 10, 2017. For her to claim the mantle of job creator is a bit silly. Battle’s claim goes back a decade. Not to say her “righting the ship of state” will not pay dividends because stability matters. But Alabama was creating jobs with all the chaos Gov. Bentley, Speaker Mike Hubbard, and Chief Justice/candidate Roy Moore was causing for the state.
Battle’s claim to be a job creator carries more weight.
— 15,500 new jobs were created in Alabama in 2017.
— Alabama’s unemployment rate is currently at 3.8 percent, so low that Gov. Robert Bentley would be receiving a salary right now had he not been kicked out of office.
— America’s unemployment is down as well; it currently stands at 3.9 percent.
— The mood for job creation is continuing to improve, 67 percent of Americans view the job market for a quality job as “good”, which is the highest percentage since 2001.