For all of the talk of creating jobs, Republicans certainly did an awful job of it under Haley Barbour. Here's a look at the unemployment numbers for Mississippi from January 2004 (when Barbour was inaugurated) and December 2011:
You'll notice that unemployment rose in Mississippi sharply in late 2005, of course due to Hurricane Katrina. But I want to show you something that runs completely afoul of the conventional wisdom that "Haley saved us" after Katrina:
That's a comparison of Louisiana and Mississippi's employment rates from January 2004 through December 2011. It's a very interesting because both states began 2004 with nearly identical unemployment numbers: Louisiana at 6.4% and Mississippi at 6.2%. Take a look at where both states ended up after 8 years: Mississippi's at 9.9% unemployment, an increase of 3.7% since Haley Barbour took office. Louisiana, on the other hand, is exactly where it started at 6.4%.
Here's a shocking statistic: Out of the 72 months Haley Barbour was in office, unemployment was higher than the day he took office in 57 of those months. That means that despite Republican campaign promises to increase employment and create a "business friendly" atmosphere in Mississippi, we were worse off 80% of the time Haley Barbour was in office.