BUFFALO, NY (Business First) - A new study is giving Governor. Andrew Cuomo above-average marks for job creation.
Cuomo is 18th in rankings issued this morning by On Numbers, an online service of American City Business Journals Inc., the parent company of Business First.
That's puts Cuomo in the top half of the 45 governors covered by the rankings. The other five were excluded because they took office this year.
North Dakota's governor, Jack Dalrymple, is first in the job-creation standings, while Matthew Mead of Wyoming is last.
On Numbers analyzed 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 score for each governor was based on a comparison of the annual growth rate for his or her state and the corresponding figure for the other 49 states.
Private-sector employment has grown at an annual pace of 1.89 percent in New York since Cuomo took office in January 2011. That's 0.10 points below the annual rate of 1.99 percent for the rest of the nation during the same span.
Dalrymple is No. 1 because North Dakota's private-sector growth rate has been a dazzling 7.32 percent per year since he was inaugurated in December 2010. That's 5.38 percentage points ahead of the collective pace for the rest of America over the same span, 1.94 percent per year.
The runners-up in the national rankings are Rick Perry of Texas (with a score of plus-1.28 percentage points) and Gary Herbert of Utah (plus-1.08 points).
Experts can (and do) argue about the ability of any governor to manipulate a state's economy. Many are downright skeptical. Economist Justin Wolfers, for instance, has written that governors often benefit from lucky breaks, such as the energy boom that is driving the current growth in North Dakota and Texas.
But the On Numbers study reflects a basic fact of political life. Governors routinely take credit for economic growth (regardless of their actual level of involvement), and are equally certain to be blamed for economic decline.