Monday, March 7, 2016

J-S is dead wrong in claim Wisconsin jobs are "picking up steam"

This news was mostly hidden through the many ethical lapses and scummy statements that keep coming out from WisGOP personnel by the day, but the Wisconsin DWD pre-released figures from the “gold standard” jobs report last week. And not surprisingly, the Walker Administration put a positive spin on the news.
New actual job count data shows Wisconsin gained 30,235 private-sector jobs from September 2014 to September 2015…

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the state's Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages (QCEW) covering the third quarter of 2015. The QCEW data is compiled quarterly based on Unemployment Insurance records from some 96% of Wisconsin business establishments….

[New] DWD Secretary Ray Allen said, "Wisconsin's private-sector added 30,200 jobs over the 12-month period ending in September 2015, underscoring the state's continuing economic growth. As Wisconsin's talent development agency, the Department of Workforce Development will continue to help Wisconsin workers gain the skills needed to fill openings that employers have available.
Seems pretty good at first glance. And the Walker-endorsing Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel took the cue and ran with it, with Rick Romell doing this kiss-up write-up on Thursday afternoon, in an article headlined “Wisconsin job growth picks up steam.”
The pace of Wisconsin's employment growth quickened during the 12 months ended last September, as the state added 30,235 private-sector jobs.

The increase was 10% greater than the job growth the state posted in the previous 12-month period….

In the 12 months that ended in September 2014, Wisconsin added 27,500 private-sector jobs. Two years before that, the 12-month gain was 20,481.
First of all, I have no idea where Romell is getting the “27,500 job growth” claim, because a look at the historical QCEW figures indicate that June 2014-June 2015 private sector job growth was 30,759. The September 2013-September 2014 private-sector job increase was actually 33,385, which means the Sept. 2014-Sept. 2015 growth went down more than 3,100 jobs compared to the previous 12-month period. Romell’s claim of “job growth up 10%” doesn’t match any figures that are in the QCEW data, and demands more explanation, or a correction.

Romell also buries an important bit of context at the end of the article, which shows the state to be badly lagging the Obama jobs recovery.
For the 12 months through the end of last June, Wisconsin's private-sector jobs base increased by 1.3%. For the country as a whole during that period, private-sector jobs increased by 2.3%.
And neither of those trends changed between June and September 2015. In fact, this illustrates the second big error/omission in Romell’s article- the rate of growth in Wisconsin jobs slowed down in both time periods that Romell references in the article.

12-month private sector job growth, Wisconsin
Sept 2013-Sept 2014 +1.40%
June 2014-June 2015 +1.27%
Sept 2014-Sept 2015 +1.25%

And these figures also continue a trend of declining job growth in Wisconsin throughout 2015, with the Sept '14-Sept '15 being the worst 12-month job growth in nearly 2 years. In fact, the rate of private-sector job growth would need to pick up by 50% just to get back to the levels we were at 5 years ago in March 2011- the month Act 10 was jammed through the Legislature.

We get to see where Wisconsin matches up with the rest of the country on Wednesday, and if the last report is any indication, there is no reason to think the state isn’t much different than the 37th in the nation status it had 3 months ago. In addition, the Wisconsin DWD’s pre-release of the QCEW numbers also indicates that Wisconsin’s month-to-month job totals will also go down when those figures are benchmarked to the QCEW as part of the January 2016 jobs release on Thursday.

Wisconsin job growth, monthly reports vs QCEW
Monthly report +39,600
QCEW +30,235

So expect a few attempts in the coming days by the Walker Administration and the rest of the WisGOP to try to distract from what seems sure to be more news of Wisconsin falling behind when it comes to job growth. But I’m guessing the revelation that Supreme Court “Justice” Becky Bradley was (is?) an extreme homophobe isn’t the type of distraction they had in mind.

1 comment:

  1. And right on cue, here's WisGOP Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald trying to blame Madison Mayor Paul Soglin for the Oscar Mayer plant closing, in a transparently obvious attempt to deflect from the failures at WEDC and WMC in that case.

    Yep, these jobs releases over the next 2 days will make Wisconsin look really bad. You can almost book it at this point.