Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sorry, WisGOP. Still DEAD LAST for jobs

It wouldn’t be a monthly release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' state-by-state jobs numbers without another taxpayer-funded cheerleading job from Gov Scott Walker’s Department of Workforce Development. Here are some of the stats they prop in their release.
· Wisconsin ranked third in the Midwest for rate of private sector job growth year-over-year.
· Wisconsin's 12-month gain in [rate of] total nonfarm jobs ranked ahead of Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
· Wisconsin's rate of year-over-year manufacturing job growth ranked 15th highest in the country, ahead of Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.
And Wisconsin is indeed third out of the 7 Midwestern states when it comes to these stats since September 2013. Total private sector job growth in September 2014 looks great on the surface Wisconsin added 8,400 jobs private sector jobs in the month, allowing us to rank third in the Midwest for the month as well. But then look at the two blue states bordering us, who both had blowout numbers.

Private sector job change, Sept 2014
Ill. +18,400
Minn +11,400
Wis. +8,400
Mich +5,300
Ohio +3,000
Iowa -200
Ind. -1,900

The same pattern expands when you look at the last two months combined, as Minnesota has added 14,700 more private sector jobs than Wisconsin since July, and Illinois 33,700 more jobs! Despite only gaining 4,800 private sector jobs over that time period, Wisconsin still stands as third in the Midwest here, because the 3 other states that are completely run by Republicans (Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) have actually lost jobs in that same time frame.

Moving out to all of 2014, Wisconsin still rates third for private sector job growth in the Midwest, but it is still less than half the national rate of job growth of 1.72%, and behind our more progressive friends to the west.

Private sector job growth, Midwest, Jan-Sept 2014
Ind. +1.03%
Minn +0.91%
Wis. +0.74%
Ill. +0.63%
Mich +0.55%
Ohio +0.53%
Iowa +0.27%

And what can’t be left out is just how lousy Wisconsin’s numbers were before the start of this year. In fact, we can now use the “gold standard” Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages numbers from the end of 2010 to the end of 2013, and add in these 9-months of seasonally-adjusted data, and likely get a good idea just which Midwestern states have done best since the gubernatorial elections of 2010, which featured many changes as to who ran a state’s government.

Oh hey, look at that. Wisconsin is still DEAD LAST for jobs in the last 45 months. Even with many of these other states backing up in recent months, Scott Walker’s policies put Wisconsin in such a ditch for job growth, that we still are behind everyone else in the Midwest, 2 weeks before the 2014 elections.

This is where we are, and no matter how much the Walker Administration wants to spin it, or narrow the timeframe of the Governor’s performance, what happened in those first 3 years matters. That underperformance is also likely to be the pattern that would continue if the voters of this state were foolish enough to give this wrecking crew another 4 years in power.

You know WisGOP and their allies at Politi-“fact” are going to try to change dates or provide some other excuse for this, but the bottom line is that they have only themselves to blame for their punishing, austerity policies, and failed, trickle-down mentality. Maybe we need someone who realizes that job growth begins by investing in items that attract TALENT, such as a high quality of life, and strong public schools that gives everyone a chance to get ahead, and is willing to be flexible enough to adjust to the realities on the ground if things aren’t working.

That sounds a whole lot more like what you'd get under Governor Mary Burke than Governor Scott Walker, doesn’t it?

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