Effective with this release, nonfarm payroll estimates for states and metropolitan areas have been revised as a result of annual benchmark processing to reflect 2014 employment counts primarily from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) (tables 5 and 6), as well as updated seasonal adjustment factors. Not seasonally adjusted data beginning with April 2013 and seasonally adjusted data beginning with January 2010 were subject to revision. Some seasonally adjusted series may have been revised back to 1990.This benchmarking was the reason that total job numbers for Wisconsin were revised down by 25,800 private sector jobs and over 30,000 total jobs earlier this month. So now that every other state has gone through this benchmarking process, let's see where Wisconsin stands for Scott Walker's first term.
Private sector Job growth Jan 2011-Jan 2015
So only the FIBs are keeping us out of last place in the Midwest during the Age of Fitzwalkerstan, and it's well behind the national rate (as indicated by the Walker jobs gap of 83,000). What's even more remarkable is that the four-year record is actually an improvement over where we stood after Walker's first 3 years on the job.
Private Sector Job Growth Jan 2011- Jan 2014
In fact, we were dead last in job growth until September, when a spurt of growth has put us ahead of Illinois. Todd Milewski of the Capitol Times has a good chart illustrating this information. The percentages are slightly different than what I have, but it's basically the same info, and it's worth mentioning that the last 4 months measured are the only four months that have not been measured and benchmarked to the "gold standard" QCEW report (I'm not saying, I'm just sayin'...).
At the top of the list, let's remember that Michigan, Indiana and Ohio all had massive job losses and double-digit unemployment during the Manufacturing Meltdown part of the Great Recession, and a lot of their growth in the 2010s can be credited to the comeback in those fields during the Obama Recovery. But that also begs the question- "Why isn't manufacturing-based Wisconsin joining in on that growth?" Yes, Wisconsin didn't get hit as badly as those three states in the late 2000s (unemployment topped out at 9.2% in Wisconsin in January 2010 and was 8.0% when Walker took over in Jan 2011), but it's still not an adequate excuse for why we lag so badly. Minnesota and Iowa didn't have close to the losses we had here, but they still found a way to gain more jobs and have significantly lower unemployment than Wisconsin.
So while the overall story isn't too much different than what we knew previously (we've always been last or next-to-last in the Midwest under Walker), it's still fresh evidence that the state has lagged its neighbors when it comes to job creation, under a Governor that promised the state would be "Open for Business." Maybe a few more national reporters could ask Presidential Candidate Walker why his approach has failed to either balance the budget or lead to prosperity, and see what kind of easily-disproven jibberish Scotty might respond with.