The states projected to register the largest proportional employment increase [in eating and drinking place employees] during the 2014 summer season are Maine (33.2 percent increase), Alaska (21.0 percent increase), Delaware (18.0 percent increase), New Hampshire (16.5 percent increase) and Rhode Island (15.7 percent increase).
Due to the fact that their busiest seasons for travel and tourism are not in the summer months, two states are projected to register declines in eating and drinking place employment during the 2014 summer season: Florida (-10,700) and Arizona (-5,500).
The restaurant industry is usually the nation’s second-largest creator of summer jobs, ranking only behind the construction industry.
Wisconsin is a part of this trend of adding food-and-bar industry jobs this time of year, which is no surprise given that the bulk of our tourism is in the Summer months. We're expected to add 17,200 people in the industry, which is 9.0% more than we had in those same places in March. That 9.0 increase is good for 12th in the nation, and is the highest increase in the Midwest. It's a regular part of our state's economy, and it explains a lot of the seasonal rise in raw jobs numbers that this state sees every Summer, even in the recession years of 2008 and 2009.
Not mentioning this seasonal effect in Wisconsin led to the MacIver Institute getting a "pants-on-fire" rating by the J-S's Politi-fact for trying to claim last year that Wisconsin had added 137,000 jobs under Governor Walker. As the chart shows, they were cherry-picking the seasonal numbers between the cold-weather months of winter (when the fewest number of people are working in Wisconsin), and the Summer months (when that number is at its highest).
Walker himself pulled a similar stunt in Summer 2011, publicly taking credit for an allegedly large increase in jobs numbers despite being warned by DWD officials that they were temporary jobs that would inevitably go away.
"It's probably right in the general direction. It's the magnitude that's questionable," [Madison economist David J.] Ward said. "Does that mean that politicians don't jump on the numbers? They do."This didn't stop Walker from doing "It's Working"-style press events and getting the Big Lie out there, just like how AM radio's GOP spokemodels relayed the MacIver lie last year. Not surprisingly, these numbers were revised down significantly in future reports, but don't be shocked if you see increasingly desperate WisGOPs try to make the same argument this year, as Walker's dismal job- creation record is a major weight around his re-election prospects.
A similar point was made in the presentation that was emailed to several of Walker's top aides by a Workforce Development official on July 18 - three days before the governor announced the figures. The email was part of a larger exchange with the governor's office on how the numbers should be presented.
"There is likely an increase of employment, however, the magnitude is suspect," the report reads.
The report said the increase in jobs was "questionable" because most of the jobs were created in tourism industries that "rarely lead employment growth" and were created outside the main metropolitan areas in the state.
On a related note, I found it interesting that the April Wisconsin jobs numbers had an increase of 2,500 seasonally-adjusted jobs in the restuarant-related Leisure and Hospitality sector, and 8,300 in the raw number. This April increase can actually go against the Wisconsin jobs numbers in the coming months, if some of these Summer jobs are getting filled ahead of time, and there isn't the typical "bump up" in May and June. With the next jobs report due out in a week and half, and blog commentator GeoffT saying in this post that May sales tax revenues sucked, it and the retail-related "Trade" Sector (up 3,700 seasonally-adjusted in April) could be an interesting sector to track.
So as the temperature and the 2014 elections heat up this Summer, you can bet WisGOP politicians will be trying to claim that Wisconsin is on the right track, and could well use Wisconsin's seasonal growth in jobs to back up their claims. We need to be ready to call out that bullshit at the moment they try to pull it, and we can use the Restaurant Association's stats and recent economic history give us the data to prove just how big a lie it is.