By Kyle Oppenhuizen
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad ranks No. 28 out of 45 governors studied when it comes toprivate-sector employment growth, according to this analysis by bizjournals.com.
In Branstad's two-plus years in office, the state has had an annual private-sector employment growth rate of 1.59 percent. That's below the 1.98 percent annual rate for the other 49 states in that same time period. The state's private-sector employment has grown by 46,000 total jobs. One of Branstad's goals coming into office was to create 200,000 new jobs.
The analysis looked at private-sector employment levels in each state during the tenure of its current governor, using seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The five governors who were inaugurated this year were not evaluated.
The scores for the governors are based on their state's annual growth rate during their tenure and the corresponding figure for the other 49 states during the same time span.
Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for the governor's office, pointed out that Iowa has the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in the country, and incomes have risen at the second-fastest pace in the country.
He also said that Branstad continually hears from employers in the state who have positions available but who have difficulty finding skilled workers. Branstad oversaw the launch of the Skilled Iowa Initiative, aimed at training workers for companies that need certain skilled workers.
"No governor will outwork Terry Branstad when recruiting new jobs in this state," Albrecht said in an emailed statement.
The five governors who fared the best in the business journals' analysis were Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Rick Perry of Texas, Gary Herbert of Utah, Bill Haslam of Tennessee and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. All five are Republicans. The highest-ranked Democrat was John Hickenlooper of Colorado at No. 6.