For Immediate Release: October 23rd, 2013
Contact: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0530
Branstad Administration Ignores Open Records Request About Flawed Jobs Statistics
34 Days Have Passed Since Request; Iowa Open Records Law States Delay in Response ‘Shall Not Exceed’ 20 Days.
Des Moines, Iowa — The Branstad administration has offered no response more than one month after the Iowa Accountability Project submitted arequest for open records pertaining to the ‘gross over the month employment gains’ statistic invented by Iowa Workforce Development. Progress Iowa issued the request as part of the project, to determine how the newly invented number is calculated, as it is not recognized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The request was made thirty four days ago, on September 19th. According to the Iowa Open Records Law, delay in permitting examination and copying of public records ‘shall not exceed’ 20 calendar days and ordinarily ‘should not exceed’ 10 business days. A copy of the request letter can be found here: http://bit.ly/accountabilityiowarequest.
“Iowa needs a Governor who leads, not one who deceives,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Every day Branstad continues his dishonesty about his failed campaign promise is a day he could have spent working for Iowans who are falling behind. Only 7,400 more Iowans are working today than when Branstad took office, which is a far cry from the 200,000 new jobs he promised. Unfortunately, Governor Branstad is looking out for his own political future more than Iowa’s working families.”
The new statistic was added to the monthly Iowa Workforce Development report in February of 2011, one month after Branstad took office. The statistic appears to allow the administration to take credit for new hires while ignoring job losses, giving a distorted view Iowa jobs. Commonly accepted measurements of job growth include jobs lost, which are not included in Branstad’s new figure.
The Branstad administration has repeatedly attempted to inflate job growth numbers to create the false impression of progress toward the Governor’s campaign promise of creating 200,000 jobs, most recently claiming the creation of 160,000 new jobs. BLS recognized statistics from Iowa Workforce Development tell a different story: resident total employment was 1,567,000 in January 2011, and was 1,574,400 in August of 2013 (only 7,400 more Iowans working), while total nonfarm employment was 1,475,900 in January 2011, and was 1,532,500 in August of 2013 (a net gain of 56,600).
The open records request submitted by Progress Iowa on September 19th has been forwarded to the Iowa Public Information Board, for their assistance in completing the request.
Iowa Attorney General’s Office: Getting Access to Public Records
“By statute, delay in permitting examination and copying of public records ‘shall not exceed’ 20 calendar days and ordinarily ‘should not exceed’ 10 business days.”
Iowa Accountability Project Requests Explanation on Flawed Jobs Numbers
Branstad still seeks 200,000 new Iowa jobs; says ‘stay tuned’ on employment initiative
Counting job gains while excluding losses is wrong