Wisconsin employers notified the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) of 10,104 planned layoffs in 2015, a new high for Gov. Scott Walker's administration and the most in the state since 2010.Senate Dem leader Jen Shilling used those finalized layoff numbers to point the finger at Governor Walker and WisGOP’s policy choices as a reason for this bad news.
The previous high under Gov. Walker was in 2011, at just over 9,000. Employers notified the state of 6,511 layoffs in 2012, 7,029 in 2013 and 6,186 layoffs in 2014.
37 percent of the 2015 layoff notices came out of the Milwaukee area, with South Central Wisconsin accounting for 9 percent of the total. Southwest Wisconsin saw a statistical layoff notification rate of 0 percent, although there were 41 employees impacted in that region. The DWD report divides the state into eleven geographical regions.
Working class people were hit the hardest by the layoffs, with 38 percent losing their jobs in the manufacturing sector.
“I’m concerned these mass layoffs aren’t setting off any alarm bells among Republican leaders in our state,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “We are in the midst of an economic crisis. Wisconsin is hemorrhaging jobs at a rate we haven’t seen since the Great Recession and our middle class is shrinking faster than any other state in the nation. Thousands of families are struggling to find a job because the policies being pushed by Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans simply aren’t working.”(Yes, you can see the Journal-Sentinel’s Politi-“fact” claiming “Wisconsin is hemorrhaging jobs” to be “false” coming a mile away. And it’ll be as bullshit a rating as it was last week). .
Instead of focusing on economic development, Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans have prioritized bills to dismantle the Government Accountability Board, limit investigations of political corruption and increase special interest campaign influence. Additionally, deep budget cuts to local schools, public infrastructure and economic development programs have resulted in widespread layoffs and contributed to Wisconsin’s poor economic climate.
When asked about these layoff figures, Gov Walker did not take Sen. Shillling’s advice, and did not sound the alarm bell. Instead, he gave some gobbledly-gook about the state’s low unemployment rate (a result of people dropping out of the workforce and/or leaving the state) and that more people were working in Wisconsin than there have been in many years (a statement Walker should have ended with “THANKS OBAMA!”).
Where did Walker make those “nothing to fear, our policies are working” statements? At a “new jobs” photo op involving a sizable campaign contributor in Chippewa Falls. Your tax dollars at work, folks. And are you the least bit surprised given this guy's "Unintimidated" act?
Let’s not forget that the 10,000+ mass layoffs do not count plant closings that were announced in late 2015, but have yet to occur. This includes the over 1,000 layoffs that will happen at Oscar Mayer in Madison, and over 400 people who will lose their jobs at Tyson Foods in Jefferson.
But hey, given the huge amount of job losses in manufacturing, maybe that’ll go a long way toward solving that
Either result’s a win-win for the corporate puppetmasters of the ALEC crew that’s currently running the state (into the ground). More profits and power for them!