Without Texas, there would be no recovery.
At least, that's the sense you get from a recent line of argument that runs from Governor Rick Perry's office through the right-of-center think-tank community. "Job creation in just one state—Texas—is solely responsible for the 1.169 million net increase in total U.S. employment ... [between] December 2007 and December 2014," Mark J. Perry writes at AEI. The accompanying graph makes Texas look like a tireless longhorn steer dragging the limp carcass of the other 49 state economies toward recovery.
Percent Change in Employment: Texas vs. U.S.-Minus-Texas, December 2007 to December 2014
The idea that Texas is the only state with positive job creation since the recession is an illusion facilitated by the graph. In fact, most states have added jobs since December 2007—29 of them, to be exact.
But the immense scale of Texas' job creation is hardly illusory. The Lone Star State has added more jobs since December 2007 than the next six states—California, New York, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Louisiana, and Minnesota—combined. That's because, although no state has grown as fast as North Dakota in the last four years, no large state has added jobs at anything close Texas' rate, thanks largely to its shallow recession and the spillover effects of a buoyant energy industry, which might be threatened by the collapse in gas prices. (The following graph doesn't include California, which has added more jobs since the January 2010 employment bottom than any other state, including Texas.)