Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wisconsin Economic outlook? Not so good

Yesterday featured the release of the semi-annual Wisconsin Economic Outlook from the state's DOR, and the numbers seem to contradict the claims that Scott Walker is still clinging to. Most notably that Wisconsin's was in trouble before Walker got into office, and that we were still on track to add 250,000 private sector jobs during Walker's 4-year term of office. This report by Walker's own DOR says the exact opposite.

First of all, Page 2 shows that Wisconsin's GDP rebounded at a higher level than previously known under the Jim Doyle/ Dem budget, and stagnated in 2011 after Walker took office.

Wisconsin GDP growth

2010 (Doyle) +4.0% (+1.5% above previous listing)
2011 (Walker) +1.1%

That report also shows that Wisconsin had also managed the recession better than the typical Midwestern state, but then fell behind once Fitzwalkerstan began last year.

GDP growth, Wisconsin vs. Great Lakes, 2008-2011
2008 Wis -2.2%, Great Lakes -5.8% (Wis. +3.6%)
2009 Wis -3.6%, Great Lakes -5.8% (Wis. +2.2%)
2010 Wis +4.0%, Great Lakes +3.8% (Wis. +0.2%)
2011 Wis +1.1%, Great Lakes +1.4% (Wis -0.3%)

In addition, the report shows several economic indicators and forecasts for both Wisconsin and the U.S. And in these reports, Wisconsin is projected to fall well behind Walker's out-of-his ass goal of 250,000 private sector jobs, and even the growth in the U.S. I'm going to use the January 2011- January 2012 figures to get 2011's amount, and then combine this with the projected growth from the DOR.

Projected job change, Wisconsin - DOR
2011 -19,800 total, -1,000 private
2012 +40,200, +30,900 private
2013 +48,100, +45,500 private
2014 +45,200, +43,300 private

TOTAL- +113,700 total, +118,700 private

So Walker won't even get halfway to that 250,000 jobs goal. And what's even scarier? Those numbers are optimistic! The DOR report also says that by the end of the 2nd Quarter, we should have 2,766,800 total jobs and 2,358,700 private sector jobs. After May's mediocre jobs report, we'd need to add MORE THAN 30,000 JOBS IN JUNE just to reach the DOR's figures. Gotta tell you, that ain't gonna happen.

Even more remarkably, the DOR says Wisconsin will be behind the U.S.'s jobs growth for 2012 (1.0% gain vs. 1.5% nationwide), and will basically match the U.S's growth for 2013-2015. In other words, the Walker jobs gap (currently around 63,000 jobs) will if anything grow in the next 2 years.

And along with the jobs gap, Wisconsin is also having a gap in income growth. The DOR Report backs up information from the BEA that shows Wisconsin income growth hit a wall once Act 10 was passed, and was dead last in the U.S. for the last 3 months of 2011. The DOR Report says that personal income in Wisconsin FELL 0.2% in the first quarter of 2012, and will continue to trail the U.S. for the rest of the Walker term.

Personal income change, Wisconsin vs. U.S. 2012-2014
2012- Wis +2.9%, U.S. 3.8% (Wis -0.9% vs. U.S.)
2013- Wis +4.1%, U.S. +4.2% (Wis -0.1% vs. U.S.)
2014- Wis +4.6%, U.S. +4.9% (Wis -0.3% vs. U.S.)

So we're not going to gain jobs in any significant amount, our economy has stopped growing, and our incomes are falling behind. Oh, and unemployment claims are on their way back up (up more than 1,200 for the week ending June 9). So tell me again how "It's working?"


  1. So what generated the "higher than expected" tax revenues that were announced before the election? Any ideas?

  2. Been wondering that myself, because the DOR numbers do indicate the state slightly ahead of budget (not by much, but it is). Of course, some of that was the $558 million in extra borrowing that'll cost us over $700 million over the next 20 years.

    My guess is that it's rich people giving themselves bonuses, because the QCER report showed that overall, Wisconsin was 43rd in wage growth for 4th Quarter 2011(DOWN 2.4%) .