No surprises to me with the release of today's Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages, at least on the jobs side. Wisconsin fared poorly for job growth from June 2012 to June 2013, 42nd in the nation for total job growth, and 37th for private sector jobs, and continued to horribly lag the vast majority of the Midwest.
Private sector job growth, Midwest, Jun 2012-Jun 2013
The time period measured is important to note, as it lists the 12-month period after the recall elections of June 2012. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Governor Walker each claimed that job growth in Wisconsin was being held back due to "uncertainties" surrounding the recalls, and they said there would be huge growth immediately afterward if Walker and the Wisconsin GOP won. Well, that didn't happen. In fact, job growth FELL by nearly 40% after Walker was retained.
But you gotta give credit to the WisGOPs for one thing- they're consistently sucky. This time last year, the state was 40th in private sector job growth, and they're 38th nationwide (and dead last in the Midwest) for the last two years- which happen to be the two years Walker's and WisGOP's budget was in effect. So feel free to run on THAT record, guys.
The wages side is a mixed bag. On the positive side, weekly wages for all Wisconsin jobs were up 3.0% in the last year, and 2.4% in the private sector, both above the national average (the 3.0% increase for all wages was 3rd best in the nation). The problem with that is Wisconsin wages were well below our neighbors to begin with, and so this doesn't allow us to gain much ground.
Average weekly wage, June 2013
This is especially true in manufacturing. Not only did Wisconsin lose 118 manufacturing jobs in the year surveyed, it also short-changes the people working in those industries.
Average weekly manufacturing wage, June 2013
And Wisconsin's manufacturing workers weren't getting real raises either, with weekly wages losing ground to the country's 1.5% inflation rate in the period measured. Wisconsin's wage growth in manufacturing rated a horrible 45th in the U.S., and only Ohio kept it out of the Midwest's basement in this category. Also note who's Number 1 here.
Change in avg. weekly manuf. wage, Jun 2012-June 2013
That's right, not only is Minnesota gaining jobs at twice the rate of Wisconsin, they're giving manufacturing workers raises that are 4 TIMES MORE than Wisconsinites are getting, and at higher wages. So if you were a "free agent" manufacturing worker with skills, would you locate in the places that's got the better economy and better wages, or the place that's stuck in the mud, and paying less? NO BRAINER, and that's a big reason why we're losing ground to our Midwestern neighbors.
It also proves yet again that Wisconsin CEOs that claim they can't hire because there's a "skills gap" are full of crap. The QCEW data prove that a lot of the problem stems from the fact that Wisconsin manufacturers refuse to pay a fair wage to potential workers, and until they stop being low-paying greedheads, they won't get the top-flight applicants they want.
And with Gov Walker refusing to discuss raising the minimum wage or try to pass any type of regulation that might make manufacturers do their part in shrinking the wage gap, we will continue to lose work and workers to other places that give them what they're worth.
The QCEW data once again makes it clear- it is not working here in Fitzwalkerstan, and we are losing ground to our neighbors the longer we stay on this road.