Sunday, December 16, 2012

"100,000 jobs gained"? Uhh, not quite Governor

Well, another week, another instance of our fair governor being caught in a lie about jobs numbers. The lie from Gov. Walker came from a workforce development event in Walkershaw County where he claimed that the state had added "just under 100,000 jobs" since he took office at the start of 2011. Which is interesting, since the only time we had previously seen "100,000 jobs" mentioned with Wisconsin under Walker had been in figuring the Walker jobs gap, which has now reached 6 figures.

So where did Walker's claim come from? Apparently he used the December 2010 figures from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), and then compared the number to the June 2012 numbers. If you do that, there is an addition of around 86,500 private sector jobs, if you look at the past history of the survey, and then compare it to the June 2012 figure that the Walker DWD claimed on Page 3 of the most recent state jobs figures.

But not surprisingly, Walker's claim of big job gains is untrue in fact, and disgustingly deceptive on top of that. We know Walker and his DWD can deceive about the QCEW survey, as Walker infamously did before the recall election, inflating the numbers and falsely claiming the BLS had confirmed the DWD's figures. The April-June 2012 numbers for Wisconsin have not been confirmed by the BLS, and will not be printed until the end of this month. And the DWD figures don't give a comparison to other states that also report on the QCEW. This is important, as the last report, showed Wisconsin to have the worst job growth in the Midwest over the previous 12 months measured.

Bad enough that Walker's trying to do this on preliminary data, but there's an even more cynical side to this "100,000 jobs" line. The QCEW doesn't adjust for seasonal changes in employment, and just gives unadjusted, total figures. Well, not surprisingly, there are more jobs in June in Wisconsin than there are in December, because of Summer tourism jobs, construction, and other related seasonal work. The QCEW shows that there typically is an increase of around 50,000 jobs from December to January when there is an expanding economy in Wisconsin.

So 86,500 over 18 months isn't all that impressive when you look at it that way. The Walker folks know this, but think you or the media won't look that closely at the reality. The real way to look at the QCEW is to look at the 12-month, year-over-year figures, to take out the effect of seasonal increaes. And when you do that, the first year of Fitzwalkerstan falls short of the last year of the Doyle-Dem budget of 2010-2011. I'll even give Scotty and co the benefit of the doubt and accept their preliminary figures for 2ndQ 2012 at face value.

Private sector job change, Wisconsin
Dec. 2009-Dec. 2010 +33,658
Dec. 2010-Dec. 2011 +29,800 (DOWN 11.5%)

June 2010-June 2011 +39,909
June 2011-June 2012 +25,379 (DOWN 36.4%)

So in both cases, there has been a significant SLOWDOWN in Wisconsin job growth under the Walker/WisGOP policies compared to the Doyle/Dem budget they inherited. Not exactly something you'd think you'd be bragging about, or trying to bring attention to. But the Walker Administration is either so simple-minded or cynical that they think they can just throw out these claims, and people will think that "it's working."

Well it's not working, both in succeeding in growing Wisconsin's economy, and in the Walker folks tricking people. Even the pro-Walker Journal-Sentinel Politifact, which goes out of its way to give Walker the benefit of the doubt on his constant deceptions, couldn't let this one go by. They ruled Walker's claim of 100,000 new jobs to be a "pants-on-fire" lie, and added that Walker violated his own administration's complaints that you shouldn't combine full-year and partial-year numbers on the QCEW because of the seasonal adjustments that happen up here.

I mean, if the Journal-Sentinel is calling out a Walker lie, you know it's bad. But you can bet they'll try to keep on spinning and lying, especially as the new November jobs numbers get released next week. Given the recent increase in unemployment claims, another month of Wisconsin job losses is quite possible, and so I absolutely anticipate some kind of misdirection or misreporting of numbers to try to deflect from the continual failures of Scott Walker's economic policies.


  1. Note that in 2006, candidate Walker accused Governor Doyle of presenting unadjusted jobs figures in order to inflate job gains.

    He put out a press release saying "Scott Walker Says Burlington Liars’ Club Should Cancel This Years World Championship Liars’ Competition “No One Can Beat the World Champion Lies Jim Doyle Told Tuesday Night”"

    In that release he also accused Doyle of lying by presenting a cash-balanced budget as a balanced one when there was a $2bn GAAP deficit - sound familiar? (

  2. Geoff- Come now, you know the GOP motto for the 21st Century is "Our rules don't apply to us." But a good catch regardless, and I definitely caught the GAAP report from last week (as well as the increase in long-term borrowing)

    By the way, thanks for the props on Daily Kos.