The good- the state's unemployment rate dropped from 4.5% to 4.3% (actually 4.47% to 4.34%, but who's counting?). And unlike the last few months, that drop in unemployment is due to a good reason, as the labor force and number of people listed as "employed" in the household survey both went up. It breaks a string of 7 straight months where the state's work force declined, and while maybe some of this is a balancing out fewer people entering the work force in the Summer (which means fewer seasonal departures and a seasonally-adjusted "gain"), it's nice to see the work force number go up for a change.
The mediocre- In the payroll survey, any momentum of the previous 2 months hit a wall in September. Total jobs did go up, but only by 1,400, and the private sector actually lost 1,300 jobs. Oddly, the biggest job gainer was in state government, with an increase of 4,800 jobs in September due to larger-than-normal seasonal hires. Yes, the U.S. also had a jobs slowdown in September, and these blah numbers could reflect some of that, but we still should have gained about 2,600 private sector jobs in Wisconsin if we wanted to keep up with the rest of the country. This means that the Walker jobs gap grew larger in September, and is now back up to 94,000 in the private sector.
The ugly- Wisconsin lost 2,700 jobs in manufacturing in September on a seasonally-adjusted basis, and 6,700 without the seasonal adjustment. Some of that is reflecting the rough time manufacturing has had in this country in recent months (27,000 jobs lost in that sector since July), due to a strong dollar and the oil bust, among other reasons. But Wisconsin construction also lost 1,300 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis (4,400 lost non-seasonal), and it's especially bad (or sadly funny) to see these losses while the Walker Administration is promoting September as Manufacturing month with job fairs.
"Hey kids! Go get a job in a sector where we're not hiring, and paying less than our Midwestern neighbors!"
And I must point out that since (right-to) work-for-less was introduced in February 2015 (allegedly to help manufacturers hire more workers due to the lack of union power) here are the job numbers for Wisconsin.
Wisconsin jobs, Feb 2015- Sept 2015
Total jobs +10,200
Private sector +4,600
Oh, but there was one Wisconsin-based outfit that was paying well this Summer.
Early estimate: @GovWalker prez campaign had at least 15 staffers making annual salaries of $100k-plus; another 15 aides were @ $50k-90K/yr.— Daniel Bice (@DanielBice) October 15, 2015
Funny how those things work out in GOP World, isn't it?