We all know that Texas is selfishly stealing jobs from blue states with its unjustly low taxes and friendly business climate, but did you know it’s also winning the fairness game? A new report shows that the Lone Star state didn’t just lead the U.S. in job growth from 2000 to 2013; it did so across all pay levels. The WaPo’s GovBeat reports:
“Texas has also created more ‘good’ than ‘bad’ jobs,” [researchers Melissa LoPalo and Pia M. Orrenius] write. “Jobs in the top half of the wage distribution experienced disproportionate growth. The two upper wage quartiles were responsible for 55 percent of net new jobs. A similar pie chart cannot be made for the rest of the U.S., which lost jobs in the lower-middle quartile over the period.” […]We’ve written plenty about how the income gap has continued to grow in recent years and decades, and the same is true with jobs. Nationally, all the jobs created since 2000 were concentrated at the highest- or lowest-paying quartiles. In Texas, however, job creation was more broad-based. […]Most sectors in the state contributed to the growth of so-called “good jobs,” they found, though education and health services were the runaway leaders for high-wage job creation.
As the report notes, Texas does have the second highest share of its population earning the federal minimum wage, but the low cost of living reduces the impact of this fact relative to other states. Here Texas bests the competition again: it never really occurs to blue states to aim policy at making the cost of living compatible with the existing minimum wage, only to periodically raise the minimum wage to chase the rising cost of living. Low property taxes and the absence of a state income tax helps people making $7.25 an hour—often even more than raising the wage to $9.00 and taxing everything in sight. Put simply, minimum wage workers in Texas have far more purchasing power than higher wage workers in, say, California.Add to that the growth of “good jobs” across all sectors and pay levels in the state, and Texas is making chumps of its blue competitors. Governor Oops is laughing all the way to the bank again.