Friday, November 21, 2014

Wisconsin jobs up in October, still lagging behind U.S., neighbors

Yesterday featured another monthly jobs report from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. In general, it was a decent number, with 4,000 private sector jobs created in October 2014, while September’s private sector jobs total was revised down by 300, for a total increase of 3,700. Not bad, but slightly below the national rate of growth, since the U.S. as a whole added 209,000 private sector jobs (214,000 jobs overall) in October, and the previous months were revised up.

When you plug those figures in, it means that while the Wisconsin numbers went up in October, the Walker jobs gap has grown yet again, now just below 71,800 private sector jobs, and 66,000 jobs overall.

Wisconsin’s job growth was strangely uneven in October, as manufacturing employment went up by 5,400 seasonally-adjusted jobs, but the rest of the state’s private sector LOST 1,400 jobs, and the “Professional and Business Services” sector dropped 3,500 jobs last month. It’s the sort of report that makes me want to see where the November figures end up, because it almost seems like the seasonal adjustment for October threw a lot of figures off.

Job change, Wisconsin Oct 2014, non-seasonally adjust. vs seasonal adjust.

Manufacturing +400 non-seasonally adjusted , +5,400 seasonally-adjusted
Prof.-Bus. Services -500 n.s.a, -3,500 s.a.
Leisure-Hospitality -7,000 n.s.a, +1,500 s.a.
Trade +3,600 n.s.a, -1,300 s.a.
Government +12,900 n.s.a, -3,900 s.a.

While Wisconsin’s drop in unemployment to 5.4% is also nice (particularly given that it’s in a month where the participation rate went up), that merely matches the 0.1% drop nationwide, and the state stays 0.4% below the national rate. The 2.3% drop in unemployment in Wisconsin during the Age of Fitzwalkerstan isn’t near the 3.3% drop in the rest of the country since January 2011, as the Obama Recovery has continued. And with the Bureau of Labor Statistics releasing the monthly jobs figures for all states today, we can see that Wisconsin's job gain was less than a majority of our Midwestern neighbors, and we were especially dwarfed by our neighbors across the St. Croix, who added more than twice as many private sector jobs as we did.

Change in private sector jobs, October 2014, Midwest
Minn +10,200 private, +9,500 overall
Ohio +8,400 private, +1,000 overall
Mich +7,200 private, +7,200 overall
Ind. +5,300 private, +7,300 overall
Wis. +4,000 private, +100 overall
Iowa +2,300 private, -200 overall
Ill. -2,000 private, +900 overall

Democratic-run Minnesota has now gained 46,300 private sector jobs over the last 12 months, while Wisconsin has only created 31,000, despite us having a higher population and job base than Minnesota (hopefully we can at least beat them on the football field a couple of time in the next 8 days). And Wisconsin is still barely out of the cellar for private sector job growth in the Midwest over the 45 months that Scott Walker has been in office, just nudging past Illinois in recent months.

These overall stats show why that despite the last couple of months going well in Wisconsin, it's sickly hilarious to hear Scott Walker try to talk up Wisconsin’s job growth on his national “pleae take me seriously for President” tour. Because a minute of research from national journalists would show Wisconsin still badly lagging the Obama Recovery, and much of its Midwestern neighbors, since the Age of Fitzwalkerstan began in January 2011.

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