Given that the Walker Administration tried to make some hay the last couple of weeks with jobs numbers that were revised upward (even though the numbers still suck), I wanted to see how this new data reflected on the overall economic indicators for Wisconsin.
And right on time, the Philadelphia Fed released its monthly coincident indexes late last week (which shows the result of the last 3 months of economic results), and I didn't have to look far to find that it still wasn't "working."
That's right, it shows Wisconsin has the 3rd-worst economy in America the last 3 months, only ahead of Alaska and Maine. However, we also know that's from the adjusted figures that include the increased job numbers in the recent benchmarking. So let's use the coincident index for the last 12 months, as this'll reflect some of the better job figures, and we can get an apples-to-apples comparison with our Midwestern neighbors, and the U.S. as a whole.
Change in Philly Fed coincident index, Jan 2012- Jan 2013
Ugh! Still dead last, and not by a little, as Wisconsin's growth is less than half the rate of the U.S. This 1.18% stat lands Wisconsin 41st out of the 50th states, barely ahead of Alabama and Arkansas.
And when you stretch it out for the 2 years of the Age of Fitzwalkerstan, it's no better. No, our economy certainly did not "take off like a rocket" after Walker survived the recall election, as Assembly Speaker Robin Vos promised that it would last April. Instead, as this chart shows, once Walker was retained, any growth that Wisconsin was having flatlined, while all other Midwestern states continued to grow.
And the recent unemployment claim figures don't indicate Wisconsin is pulling its way out of its Fitzwalkerstan doldrums. Take a look at the combined number of unemployment claims for the last 2 weeks among the Midwestern states.
Total unemployment claims, last 2 weeks
Note that Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio each have populations several millions more than Wisconsin's, while Minnesota and Indiana are comparable, and Iowa has about half as many people (but 1/4 of the unemployment claims).
So if that's any indication, we might be seeing some rocky numbers for March, especially when you consider that this time last year we had green grass, trees in bloom, and Terrace chairs being put out at the Union, which pushed seasonal employment forward (and the March jobs numbers "up"). You can be sure the next 2 jobs reports won't see that kind of boost, and we'll be finding out soon enough, since both reports will be coming out over the next month. I'm not counting on much changing from the Fitzwalkerstanis horrible economic record, and neither should you.