Friday, June 28, 2013

Quick QCEW rundown for Wisconsin

Was tied up doing more productive things on a warm Summer day yesterday, but here are a few reflections on the QCEW release from yesterday (click here for the always-cool interactive chart).

1. On a state by-state comparison, Wisconsin didn't do as bad as I would have expected 31st in the nation for job growth overall, and 33rd in the private sector, better than the 40-something rankings they had for the 3rd quarter, and the job growth rates were above what we had last quarter. However, both Walker years are still worse than what we had in Jim Doyle's final year of 2010, as you can see with the prior reports.

Year-over-year total job change, Wisconsin 2010-2012
Q4 2012- +1.19%
Q3 2012- +0.77%
Q2 2012- +1.49%
Q1 2012- +1.17%
Q4 2011- +0.81%
Q4 2010- +1.28%(Doyle/Dem)

Year-over-year private sector job change, Wisconsin 2010-2012
Q4 2012- +1.40%
Q3 2012- +1.02%
Q2 2012- +1.64%
Q1 2012- +1.79%
Q4 2011- +1.31%
Q4 2010- +1.50% (Doyle/Dem)

Particularly when you look at charts of the QCEW's private sector growth numbers, you'll notice that the state hit a ceiling of growth once Act 10 was passed - the highest year-over-year job growth numbers were in March 2011, the month Act 10 was passed.

Also take a look at the numbers starting in June 2012. Remember how Robin Vos and the GOPs were claiming the state's economy would "take off like a rocket" if Walker was retained and the "uncertainty" of the recall election was behind us. Well, there was an effect of keeping Walker on- job growth TANKED, down nearly 40% in the 3 months after the recall, and still down almost 6,000 from what they were in the month the recall election happened.

These numbers also don't account for the deteriorating jobs situation we've had since the start of the year. If that's any indication, these numbers will slip when we see the next QCEW report in September.

Change in jobs, not seasonally adjusted,
Dec 2011-May 2012- +25,369 (QCEW)
Dec 2012-May 2013- +15,000 (BLS)

So this indicates that we're down another 10,000 in year-over-year growth for the first 5 months of this year, and a lot of that will show up in the next report, dropping the relatively small increase of 32,000 private sector jobs down toward 22,000.

The BLS's recent state-by-state report bears that slippage out. This report is benchmarked to the QCEW stats, but also includes its estimates for the 5 months measured since the end of 2012. When you look at that report, Wisconsin does a lot worse than 33rd in job growth.

May 2012-May 2013 jobs by state, U.S.
All jobs
45. Ark.+0.25%
46. Maine +0.23%
47. Wis. +0.19%
48. Penn +0.08%
49. Wyo. -0.55%
50. Alaska -1.27%

Private sector
45. R.I. +0.54%
46. Wis. +0.51%
47. Ark. +0.48%
48. Penn +0.41%
49. Alaska -0.56%
50. Wyo. -0.66%

So even while the end-of-2012 QCEW report marks a slight blip up from the horrible report of the 3rd quarter, I wouldn't characterize it as anything to crow about- it's more like a 65-win baseball team going up to 75 wins. I don't find that acceptable, and I sure hope you don't either. And the bad numbers we've seen in the first half of this year should tell us that we're going to continue our slide down in the first QCEW reports reflecting stats for 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Called it :)

    The MJS had this chart to accompany their piece on yesterday's QCEW news, showing 1-year growth rates for Wisconsin and the nation by month. Note that we had our nose out in front in June 2011, but in the 18 months of data since Walker's first budget + Act 10 took effect not once have we ever been in front.

    Looking ahead to 2013Q1, do you recollect when the DWD pre-releases were accompanied by tables of QCEW indicating growth, CES indicating contraction, and various other indicators agreeing with QCEW? Those were "Decline in UI claims", "Increase in state sales tax revenues", "Surveys of job creators" (that were never defined) and "Personal income estimates".

    As you know, UI claims for March were only modestly better than in 2012 and the initial claims fluctuated above and below corresponding weeks last year and sales tax receipts and withholding (read: personal income estimate) were not only down in real terms but down in absolute terms too. Then CES showed an annual gain of 16,000 or 9,700 depending upon whether you look at the seasonally-adjusted or the unadjusted version.

    The sales tax receipts and withholding tax revenue downturns were even worse than the abysmal September 2012 results and the changes in UI claims much closer to a year earlier. QCEW gives September 2012's annual private sector job gain as 23k, indicating that CES probably has it about right.

    Compared to the December 2012 growth rates for all states, either CES number would put us in 47th. Buckle up.