Over the weekend, Politifact looked at claims made by Gov. Bill Haslam in his Jan. 30 State of the State address that job growth in the state last year can be attributed to his administration's economic development program.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning website determined that Haslam's implication that his pet Jobs4TN plan created 28,000 jobs in Tennessee in 2011 was (survey says!...) only half wrong.
"The governor said the state has added 28,000 news jobs thanks to his jobs plan," says the site's Truth-O-Meter blog. "We find he's right about the gains — he actually understated the number — but that it's a big stretch to even imply Jobs4TN should get credit for the increase. Much of that plan took effect late in the year and economists told us the job growth is largely a function of the slow but steady nationwide economic recovery. On balance, we rate the statement Half True."
More from Politifact:
Smith, Haslam’s press secretary, said the governor was not trying to claim credit for the jobs. "When there’s an economic development project, it’s a team effort by the state, the company and local communities that take months to come about. We thought the State of the State address was an opportunity to announce the jobs number that ECD was releasing that same day. There was a full stop between it and the governor’s statement that Jobs4TN is working. There are multiple entities that play a role in Jobs4TN and we think it is working and was working."
But we think anyone who heard or read the governor's speech would indeed come to the conclusion that by saying "Our Jobs4TN plan is working," he was taking credit for the job gains.