Thursday, July 17, 2014

With bad June jobs report, Wisconsin completes worst 6 months (so far) under Walker

With the June Wisconsin jobs report looming for release today, I wondered if that was playing a role in Scott Walker's sudden desire to deflect and distract the media with lame anti-Mary Burke ads that are now being called false by Trek's president, and constant (taxpayer-funded) trips to campaign contributors to announce "future expansions." And it turns out I was right to be suspicious.

Turns out that the state lost 1,200 private sector jobs in June, and May was revised to show an extra 500 jobs lost in that month. This now means Wisconsin has lost private sector jobs in 4 of the 6 months of 2014- a time period that the US as a whole GAINED 1.33 MILLION private sector jobs. The only reason Wisconsin's unemployment stayed even at 5.7% was because 7,400 people dropped out of the workforce, and now Wisconsin is only 0.4% below the US rate of 6.1% (it was 1.4% below when Walker took office in January 2011).

With the bad June report coming while the rest of the country was thriving (263,000 private sector jobs added, and 288,000 overall), the Walker jobs gap has jumped quite a bit higher. Wisconsin is now nearly 66,000 private sector jobs below what we'd have if we'd kept up with the US pace, and 56,000 jobs in the hole overall.

Remarkably, while most of the rest of the country seems to be adding jobs at the best pace in years, Wisconsin is getting worse the longer Walker stays in office. The paltry 8,500 private sector jobs added in the first 6 months of 2014 is the lowest half-year total in Scotty's 3 1/2 years in office, and it shows that the strong end of 2013 numbers were a fluke that didn't break the state out of its Walker-led doldrums.

It's also worth mentioning that this 2014 job failure has come in a year where two rounds of income tax cuts have taken effect. Do you need any more proof you need that tax cuts don't create jobs, and that Scott Walker's corporate cronysim and "austerity for those outside of the inner circle" policy isn't the way to go? Well, it shouldn't, but I supposed it won't stop some paid-off hacks and gutless fools from claiming "the jury is still out."

Soryy guys, the jury's back, and this debate doesn't take too long among honest folks. The trickle-down, anti-education Fitzwalkerstanis have failed, and I bet tomorrow's state-by-state jobs report will make them look even worse, if possible.


  1. We have the first indicator of July jobs now as well: the week 28 UI claims report. This should be compared to week 24, the CES reference week for June. In June, the year-on-year drop in initial claims was 1,912 and in continued claims 13,847 for a total drop of 15,759. In July, the year-on-year drop in initial claims was 625 and in continued claims 14,725 for a total drop of 15,350. So overall, not very different.

    June -> July of 2013 showed a gain of 700 total jobs (200 private), so it's suggesting that June -> July of 2014 is not likely to be impressive.

    Having said that, the June 2014 seasonal adjustment was -53,100 compared to the June 2013 seasonal adjustment of -39,700. That's an unusually large difference: they're certainly not fixed from year to year, but you don't often see that kind of difference. Ultimately we'll see how it turns out once the data is benchmarked... next year.


    Ok, so when they write the next Politifact update, it'll say that December 2010 - December 2013 QCEW showed 91,678 private sector jobs created, then December 2013 - June 2014 seasonally-adjusted CES showed a gain of 8,500 for a total of 100,178 in Walker's first 42 months.
    The asking rate for his 250,000 promise is thus now 25,000 per month for the next 6 months, or an annualized growth rate of 12.7%. That is greater than North Dakota's all-time high of 12.05% for the 12 months through to June 2012 and more than three times the 2013 leader's (North Dakota again, but with 3.9%).

    Going by CES alone and starting from January 2011, we missed May's asking rate of 17,025 by 18,225 (the last time we beat the 250k target asking rate was in February 2013, one of 5 times out of 40 months that this has happened).

  2. OK, this is DESCRIPTIVE stats, science at its most basic. Do we have any cross-time, cross-state multivariate EXPLANATIVE analysis? My guess is a 1 for Walker and a 0 not-Walker variable (i.e. "dummy") would be significant at .01.

  3. I'll let you handle that one, Jim. :P

    That said, I do think the "worst job growth in the Midwest" stat answers some of that question. And Dr. Chinn's article in Econbrowser also goes into it