Tuesday, March 11, 2014
A widely distributed graphic by Pew's Stateline news service was quickly sucked into the governor's race by opponents of Gov. Paul LePage. The graphic showed that Maine was one of three states to lose jobs between April 2012 and April 2013.
The Pew graphic may have been correct when it was published. But it's wrong now.
Here's what happened: According to Sandy Johnson, the executive editor of Stateline, Pew used federal data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare job growth/losses across all 50 states. When the data was extracted for Stateline's June story, it showed Maine had lost 1,500 jobs.
But the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently corrected its data (Note the "C" in April 2013 column).
The corrected data shows that Maine added 200 jobs between April 2012-2013. Pew acknowledged that change means Maine didn't lose jobs, as its original graphic showed. It did not say whether or not they would change it.
Speaking of changing, the campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud will probably have to stop referencing the job loss claim as a dig against Gov. Paul LePage.
Another note: Don't make the mistake of comparing the above BLS employment numbers to this data from the Maine Department of Labor. Two different calculations, two different employment measurements.
Maine Department of Labor, using a different metric, showed a gain of 2,900 jobs between April 2012-2013.Tweet
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.