When Mitt Romney took office, unemployment in Massachusetts was below the national average—but economic growth trailed the rest of the country every year he was governor, and job growth failed to keep up with population growth, even as the reverse was true in the rest of the country. When he left office, Massachusetts’ unemployment rate was higher than the national average for the first time since 1995.Bureau of Labor Statistics, Annual Average Unemployment Rate, Accessed 9/16/11
In Romney’s first two years, wages fell by 5%—the steepest in the nation. While the median income nationwide was on the rise, it was dropping in Massachusetts.Bureau of Labor Statistics Average Annual Pay, BLS.gov
Even as his state failed to keep up, Governor Romney slashed funding for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership [MassMEP], a program that “helped hundreds of small manufacturers compete, survive, and save thousands of jobs.”Boston Globe, 11/23/2006
—Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin, Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University
Manufacturing payroll employment throughout the nation declined by nearly 1.1 million or 7% between 2002 and 2006, but in Massachusetts it declined by more than 14%, the third-worst record in the country.
Boston Globe, 7/29/07
Still, Romney tried to cut unemployment benefits, and vetoed or cut more than $100 million in economic development spending, including:
- Training for health professionals, older workers, and low-wage workers
- Investments in high-tech manufacturing and entrepreneurs
- Support for the Massachusetts Mathematics, Science, Technology and Engineering grant fund for students
By the end of Governor Romney’s term, Massachusetts had lost more than 40,000 manufacturing jobs—a rate twice the national average. As jobs disappeared, Massachusetts lost 222,000 residents—3.5% of the state’s population, and the third-highest rate of departures in the country.Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 3/18/12; Boston Globe, 7/29/07
—Steve Bailey, Boston Globe columnist, 2/15/06
He was going to be our CEO governor, the state's top salesman who could talk businessman-to-businessman and bring home those good-paying jobs. It was all bunk, of course.