Thursday, June 19, 2014

2013 like 2012 and 2011- Wisconsin way behind on jobs

When today dawned, it appeared the Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages would be a big deal, as we would see how Wisconsin shaped up vs. the rest of the nation in job growth for all of 2013 on the "gold standard" report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And then the Governor got named in official documents as being in the "center of a criminal scheme", and it'll knock this story off of the front pages for a couple of days.

But that doesn't mean this report should be ignored, because today's release continues to show the failure of Scott Walker's economic policies, as Wisconsin continues to be behind the rest of the nation and its Midwestern neighbors when it comes to job creation. As usual, you are welcome to click around on the QCEW's awesome interactive site to take a look at the stats yourself.

In the QCEW, Wisconsin ranked 37th in overall private sector job growth, with an increase of 1.21% (28,141 jobs). That barely kept them out of the basement for worst Midwestern job growth, and was well behind the 2.1% job growth that was seen in the US as a whole.

Private sector job growth, QCEW 2013
Mich +2.57%
Ind. +1.94%
Minn +1.91%
Iowa +1.73%
Ohio +1.71%
Wis. +1.21%
Ill. +1.20%

But it's not just 2013 that Wisconsin has struggled in when it comes to job creation. In fact, when you look at all 3 years of Scott Walker's tenure, it's DEAD LAST in the Midwest for private-sector job growth.

Private sector job growth, QCEW, Dec 2010- Dec 2013
Mich +8.71%
Ind. +6.88%
Minn +6.29%
Ohio +5.65%
Iowa +5.20%
Ill. +4.21%
Wis. +4.04%

And when you plug in the year-over-year monthly stats from this report, Wisconsin's job growth is lower than it was at the end of 2010, when Jim Doyle and the Dems handed the state's political leadership over to Walker and the GOP, and in June 2011, when Act 10 was approved by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Walker's first budget took effect.

Don't count on this number getting better in the future either. The May jobs report from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development showed the state lost 400 private sector jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis last month, and 1,000 overall, in a month where the U.S. added 217,000 jobs overall. With barely over 10,000 private sector jobs added since the end of 2013, don't count on Wisconsin jumping into the top half of the U.S. for job in any of the remaining 4 quarters in Scott Walker's first term, just like it hasn't since Walker's policies offically became law. And no amount of Koch ads changes that fact.


  1. I am not sure voters will understand campaign finance laws, (unless Walker can be labeled as a cheater), but I know they can understand when someone does not keep a promise. Scott Walker will not be close to 250,000 jobs. Jobs may again be the #1 issue in this governors race.

  2. Couple of things to add there:

    1. In December 2010 - December 2013, US growth was 6.56%.
    2. Over the previous three years, US growth was -6.49% and Wisconsin's was -5.88%.
    3. These QCEW figures leave Wisconsin needing 158,187 jobs in 2014 for Walker to meet his 250,000 jobs promise. This requires an annual growth rate of 6.69%. For comparison, the best-performing state in 2013 was North Dakota with 3.93%.
    4. To achieve 125,000 jobs by the end of 2014 we'd need a growth rate of 1.40%. 1.47% was achieved in 2012, so it is conceivable.
    5. No calendar year of private sector job growth under Walker has yet exceeded the growth rate under Doyle in 2010, in case anyone's having trouble squinting at Jake's graph.
    6. The average weekly wage was $865 in 2013Q4, up 1.2% on 2012Q4 (with Midwestern Q4-to-Q4 inflation being 0.9%) and making 2013 up 2.0% on 2012 (annual Midwestern inflation being 1.4%).

    May jobs were weaker than I was expecting: like-for-like withholding was up a bit on a year before and UI claims were showing a relative drop during the survey week. Still, the direction of the household survey employment total result (up 1,300) is close to May's place of work survey result (down 1,000).

    The UI claims for the June survey week is our first indicator of how this month is doing: year-on-year, a near identical change to May's. Accounting for the month-to-month changes that'll be slipping off the 12-month sliding window, we might be looking at a gain of something like 3,000-4,000.