Thursday, December 26, 2013

MSP and MSN- the real drivers of any Wisconsin growth

Noticed an interesting thing with the release of the state's local unemployment and job figures. Take a look at the 3 counties in this survey with the lowest unemployment rates in Wisconsin.

Lowest unemployment rates, Wisconsin counties, Nov 2013
Pierce 3.4%
St. Croix 3.7%
Dane 4.0%

Intriguing, eh? Pierce and St. Croix Counties are the two closest counties to the Twin Cities, and Minnesota's 4.6% unemployment rate with the progressive social policies that attracts all the hipsters. And of course, Dane County is filled with wacky, overeducated lefties. In fact, Dane County is the leading area for Wisconsin job creation, as the Madison MSA added 5,300 jobs in the last 12 months, and no other metro area in Wisconsin gained more than 2,300 (Green Bay).

Hmmm, you think that possibly places that accept outsiders and have open-minded social policies attract the talent that makes people want to locate their businesses there? And yet we have GOP leadership turning away from this winning strategy at every turn, and instead supporting a Confederate system that has a small club of oligarchs run all decisions, be it in business, or in people private lives.

And you wonder why Wisconsin lags every other state in the Midwest in job creation over the last 2 years?


  1. I don't know about the Madison MSA employment numbers being remarkable, Jake: this release shows 12-month (seasonally-adjusted) growth there of 1.51% vs 1.45% for the state as a whole, clearly not significantly different.

  2. Geoff- But what's interesting about that is that Madison's growth beats any other MSA in Wisconsin that has more than 50,000 jobs, and is growing by 2-3 times many of those MSAs.

    Especially since the QCEW showed a lot of rural Wisconsin losing jobs from June 2012-June 2013, it sure makes me wonder just how long-lasting any of the job "growth" of the last 4 months really is. I have a hard time buying that more than half of this state's lasting job growth has happened outside of the top 12 in-state MSAs.

    The fact that no other Wisconsin MSA is within 3,000 jobs of Madison's growth I find to be noteworthy, and it's probably statistically significant as well.

  3. Doing the subtraction of the 12 MSAs' values from the statewide total employment, it would appear that employment in rural Wisconsin grew from to 770,900 to 796,600, +3.3%, while in the 12 MSA's employment grew from 2,022,700 to 2,037,600, +0.7%.

    That's a bit eyebrow raising.

    Let's not forget though that 2012Q3 was not just bad, but really abominably abysmal for Wisconsin jobs. If that was an anomaly, it'd depress the Jun '12 - Jun '13 changes but not the Nov '12 - Nov '13 changes. Having said that, of 2013Q3 seasonally adjusted CES suggests it was only slightly better than 2012Q3, and unadjusted suggests it was actually worse.

    (It's worth mentioning here that the last year of QCEW released prior to the next election will be for March 2013 - March 2014, so we've had the first quarter of that now. If Q3 is again a bust as CES suggests, the March - September change for 2013 will be the worst this century that wasn't in the middle of a recession).

    But we're in danger here of conflating place of work surveys with household surveys, each of which have their own set of errors. I'm inclined to take the employment data with a grain of salt.