Malloy’s Math: 5,000 – 13,000 = 5,000 New Jobs!

Dan Malloy has a new ad on television to introduce himself to voters and fill them in on his record as Stamford Mayor. Have a look:

This is a good ad that highlights some of Dan’s proudest achievements as Mayor of Stamford. As Mayor, Dan Malloy helped to create 5,000 new jobs. He helped reduce crime by 63%. He…well, those are the only two achievements he mentions, but 30 seconds is not a lot of time, and he has to mention what he’d do as Governor. And so the ad goes on to say that as Governor, he’d invest in green technology and high tech companies, which are vague, general ideas that I think we liberal Democrats can all vaguely, generally get behind.

But…is Malloy’s jobs claim accurate? That’s what Christopher Keating wondered today, on the front page of the Hartford Courant:

While Democrat Dannel Malloy says repeatedly in his campaign for governor that he created nearly 5,000 jobs during his 14 years as Stamford’s mayor, state labor statistics show that employment in Stamford actually dropped during Malloy’s tenure.

Employment exploded during the late 1990s and peaked in 2000, but Stamford has lost more than 13,000 jobs since then. That includes the loss of more than 5,000 jobs from June 2008 to June 2009, according to state labor statistics.

[…]

Malloy did not count the many jobs that left the city during his 14-year tenure, including during the recent recession. “They’re not subtracted, nor are the self-employed [included],” Malloy said.

So one could say that Malloy’s claim that he created 5,000 jobs is technically accurate, but the way he portrays it in his ad is disingenuous. Not unintentionally, the ad comes across as saying “While Dan Malloy was Mayor of Stamford, not only did the city keep all the jobs it had, but Dan was instrumental in bringing 5,000 more to the city,” when in fact Stamford lost jobs faster than Dan Malloy could replace them.

It’s easy to understand what’s wrong with his claim when you think about it in another context. Hypothetically, let’s say that for 14 years I oversaw the investment of $200,000, and invested it in a variety of ways to spread out risk and hopefully maximize returns. Some of the money I invested was in savings bonds, which have paid me a total of $5,000 in interest over that time. The other investments did not fare as well, and about $13,000 of the principal invested was lost on my watch. The net loss is $8,000 and it’s a matter of public record. So when I’m looking for a new job, if I put it on my resume that during the time I managed the fund I helped it earn 5,000 new dollars, you would be spot on to tell me that I’m full of shit.

Now, I’m not saying that Dan Malloy is full of shit, I’m just saying that if Dan Malloy wants to take credit for the jobs created during his tenure, he has to take blame for the jobs lost during the same time period.


Update:
mattw weighs in on this at MLN
Kirby also has a post up about this over at CTBob

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