Friday, August 18, 2017

Wisconsin still far behind in jobs, and Foxconn won't change that

The state-by-state jobs report came out this afternoon, and it made Wisconsin's recent swoon in job growth look even worse.

A stat that immediately jumps out at you is that most Midwestern states continued to gain jobs in recent months, but not Wisconsin.

April 2017 – July 2017
All jobs
Ohio +29,000
Ill. +19,800
Minn +14,100
Iowa +10,700
Ind. +4,300
Mich +3,400
Wis. - 5,500

Private sector
Ill. +20,300
Minn +13,600
Ohio +12,800
Iowa +10,500
Ind. +10,000
Wis. -1,200
Mich -3,300

Yes, the Illinois stats surprised me, especially given that it spans their fiscal crisis. But 3 months is a small sample size, and could simply be a regression to the norm from Illinois underperforming in the seasonally-adjusted stats earlier in the year. Likewise, Wisconsin's job growth was allegedly strong between January and April, but has fallen back since then.

If you widen it out to the last 12 months, Wisconsin ends up mediocre at best- 4th out 7 for total jobs and 5th of 7 for private-sector jobs. Even worse, take a look at who is lapping the field at the top.

July 2016-July 2017 job growth
All jobs
Minn +2.08%
U.S. +1.49%
Mich +1.44%
Iowa +1.01%
Wis. +0.90%
Ind. +0.88%
Ohio +0.87%
Ill. +0.55%

Private sector
Minn +2.24%
U.S. +1.68%
Mich +1.49%
Iowa +1.39%
Ind. +1.01%
Wis. +0.99%
Ohio +0.91%
Ill. +0.68%

UW professor Menzie Chinn has more on how Minnesota has continually kicked Wisconsin's ass for job growth over the 6 1/2 years in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan. And even more remarkable, July 2017 marks the first time that Minnesota has more total jobs than Wisconsin, likely for the first time ever.

Ok, so we’re not Illinois. But as I have said numerous times, we wouldn’t base the Packers’ success over whether they finished ahead of a 3-13 Bears team. So why are we accepting not being the complete governmental train wreck that Illinois is….for the time being.

By the way, take a look at how another tax-cutting ALEC experiment has been doing on the jobs front over the last year.

July 2016-July 2017 job growth
All jobs
Kansas -0.76% (-10,800 jobs)

Private sector
Kansas -1.05% (-12,100 jobs)

No other state is close to this bad for total job loss over the last 12 months, and only the small petro-states of Alaska and Wyoming have lost jobs AT ALL in that time period (-1,100 for Alaska, -3,000 for Wyoming).

Given Wisconsin’s declining budget situation, we are getting more like Kansas by the year, and the Fox-con will speed up that wreck, given that the majority of the tax handouts will occur before most of the jobs even start at the facility.

Is that what you want, to become a wasteland like Kansas? Or do you want to be like Minnesota, which is creating jobs twice as fast as we are, and with a much healthier financial situation on top of it. Funny how that happens when you don’t give away the store to the rich and corporate, and actually invest in education and quality of life, isn’t it?

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