MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO–(KMOX)–With two weeks to go before the election, Missouri Governor Nixon is facing new questions about the number of net jobs lost in the state since he took office.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a net loss of 78,900 seasonally-adjusted, non-farm jobs in Missouri from January 2009, when Nixon took the oath of office, through September 2012. In the same time period, the St. Louis region alone has suffered a net loss of 21,500 seasonally-adjusted, non-farm jobs, the bureau reports.
Taking office during a drastic recession, Nixon has made job creation a core theme of his term, and often talks about thousands of new jobs created, but seldom talks about jobs lost or the net jobs effect.
When asked about the some 79,000 net jobs lost during a stopover at a local farm, the Governor changed the subject to the unemployment rate.
“What I say is Missouri has had the second largest drop in the unemployment rate of any state in the country since I took was sworn in,” Nixon said. “When I was sworn in it was 8.6 percent. Today it’s 6.9 percent.”
Nixon’s Republican opponent Dave Spence has been challenging the validity of the unemployment numbers. Spence claims there are 106,000 discouraged workers no longer looking for work who are not included in the Missouri unemployment rate.
“To say that we’re at 6.9 percent sure sounds great in an election year,” Spence said, “but, honestly, with those 106,000 people back in, and also 40,000 recent graduates are not factored in there. So our true unemployment rate is closer to ten percent.”
Spence has been challenging Nixon to debate him, but Nixon told reporters in Maryland Heights Tuesday he has no plans for more debates.
The Governor was also asked if he plans to share any of the some five-million dollars he has in his campaign bank account with struggling democrats further down the ticket.
“One of the reasons I’ve been able to move forward is because at moments like this, I’m able to keep my thoughts to myself,” Nixon said.