Friday, March 20, 2015

QCEW shows Walker job record as bad as ever

Was busy watching hoops and drinking with friends yesterday (like all good Americans should on the first weekend of March Madness), so I couldn't chime in with the release of the Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages- the report Scott Walker claimed was the "gold standard" of job numbers because of its more complete sample. Well, this is problem with being as serially deceptive and spinning as Walker, because inevitably your spin comes back to bite you in the ass.

Here's the quick and dirty from yesterday's release.

Wisconsin rankings out of 50 US states Sept 2013- Sept 2014
Private sector job growth: 40th (+1.157%)
Total job growth: 38th (+1.056%)
Private sector average weekly wage growth: 42nd (+1.761%)

And DEAD LAST IN THE MIDWEST for all three categories for that time period. And yes, I know the Walker DWD "coincidentally" released numbers yesterday morning that showed huge job growth in February and positive revisions for January, but forgive if I'm skeptical, because let me remind you of what Walker's DWD was releasing about the September 2014 jobs figures, which was the last release before the November 2014 elections.
Highlights of today's BLS report of state-by-state employment and unemployment estimates (seasonally adjusted), which are each based on monthly surveys, include:

•Wisconsin's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decline to 5.5 percent in September 2014 from 6.6 percent in September 2013 was statistically significant, and the state's September rate ranked 17th in the country (tied), outperforming four Midwest states.
•Wisconsin ranked third in the Midwest for rate of private sector job growth year-over-year.
•Wisconsin's 12-month gain in total nonfarm jobs ranked ahead of Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
And now we know THOSE LAST TWO CLAIMS WERE PROVEN NOT TO BE TRUE, as the QCEW shows that we were behind every Midwestern state for job growth. I'm not saying Walker's DWD was lying before the election, I'm just saying that the information wasn't yet known. ANd I'm saying, we deserve the right to be skeptical of the alleged runup in jobs reported in Wisconsin over the last 5 months, as Walker tries to take credit for a "Wisconsin turnaround" on the campaign trail, because the last 4 years of Walker's record shows that Wisconsin is still brutally lagging.

I'll have more detail on this report later on, maybe when the hoops dies down a bit. But let's see if a few people start asking real questions about our Governor and his "40th place in the US" job ranking.

EDIT: Here are two updated charts showing the rate of private sector job growth over the last 4 years measured. You can see that Wisconsin's private sector job growth peaked around March 2011- the month that Act 10 was passed. And the trend noticeably started declining around September 2011, as Scott Walker's and WisGOP's first budget took effect.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. This was wrongly deleted, it's basically a link back to James's post about the still-huge amount of Wisconsin homes that are underwater. Not really a sign of a thriving economy, is it?

  2. Jake,

    The latest spin from the tin foil Tea Partyists is that unemployment is sooooo looooow, that it's just too hard for Walker to add jobs because there is just no one to take them…see? so, golly, everyone should just stop with their negative opinions…[then close-up of Sec'y Newson's tear tracks and dissolve].

    Which is, of course, totally at odds with…1) everything the Walkerites have ever said; 2) operates on principles of labor economics as found in the Bizarro World [please see the excellent economic text on this by Mr. Mxyzptlk]; and 3) is of scant help to all the WIsconsinites forced to take the low-wage jobs for which his regime has "opened the state".

    But if you read the coverage lately in the MJS or the WSJ, the business writers are now at the "Meh" stage. Since no one can say what indicators are any good anymore, why waste ink? For the Walkerites…mission accomplished, now the success at job growth will be measured by the content of the Americans for Propserity TV ads (running on your local TV, almost continuously, pretty soon).

    Sad, isn't it? Pretty nice state we used to have here.

    Dr. Morbius

    1. Given that Wisconsin's unemployment rate is more than 1% higher than Minnesota's, I'd think there's still a distance to go before we're maxed out and full employment, so can't really buy that.

      I will say that the 40th in US jobs was the top story in the State Journal, so it's definitely gotten attention, but the "42nd in wages" story is every bit as big, because it shows that the labor market isn't so tight that wages are being raised (or that greedy Wisconsin employers refuse to raise them)

  3. The major media continues to fail us . . .