Thursday, October 15, 2015

September jobs- some good, more not-so-good

Lost in all of the hoopla of budget reports and rigging of elections at the Capitol, the State of Wisconsin released its September jobs report this afternoon. And like previous job reports in the state, this had some good, and some things that were not so good.

The good- the state's unemployment rate dropped from 4.5% to 4.3% (actually 4.47% to 4.34%, but who's counting?). And unlike the last few months, that drop in unemployment is due to a good reason, as the labor force and number of people listed as "employed" in the household survey both went up. It breaks a string of 7 straight months where the state's work force declined, and while maybe some of this is a balancing out fewer people entering the work force in the Summer (which means fewer seasonal departures and a seasonally-adjusted "gain"), it's nice to see the work force number go up for a change.

The mediocre- In the payroll survey, any momentum of the previous 2 months hit a wall in September. Total jobs did go up, but only by 1,400, and the private sector actually lost 1,300 jobs. Oddly, the biggest job gainer was in state government, with an increase of 4,800 jobs in September due to larger-than-normal seasonal hires. Yes, the U.S. also had a jobs slowdown in September, and these blah numbers could reflect some of that, but we still should have gained about 2,600 private sector jobs in Wisconsin if we wanted to keep up with the rest of the country. This means that the Walker jobs gap grew larger in September, and is now back up to 94,000 in the private sector.

The ugly- Wisconsin lost 2,700 jobs in manufacturing in September on a seasonally-adjusted basis, and 6,700 without the seasonal adjustment. Some of that is reflecting the rough time manufacturing has had in this country in recent months (27,000 jobs lost in that sector since July), due to a strong dollar and the oil bust, among other reasons. But Wisconsin construction also lost 1,300 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis (4,400 lost non-seasonal), and it's especially bad (or sadly funny) to see these losses while the Walker Administration is promoting September as Manufacturing month with job fairs.

"Hey kids! Go get a job in a sector where we're not hiring, and paying less than our Midwestern neighbors!"

And I must point out that since (right-to) work-for-less was introduced in February 2015 (allegedly to help manufacturers hire more workers due to the lack of union power) here are the job numbers for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin jobs, Feb 2015- Sept 2015
Total jobs +10,200
Private sector +4,600
Manfacturing -1,700

Oh, but there was one Wisconsin-based outfit that was paying well this Summer.

Funny how those things work out in GOP World, isn't it?


  1. Sen Tom Tif

    "Yesterday, the Department of Administration released its Annual Fiscal Report for Fiscal Year 2015. According to the report, Wisconsin closed the most recent biennium with a $135 million surplus. Because of our careful budgeting and common sense reforms, Wisconsin is seeing an increase in revenue generation that is helping our bottom line. Although this is great news for the state of Wisconsin, I believe we still need to remain fiscally responsible to meet the challenges still before our state.

    " In addition to the surplus, a Department of Workforce Development report also confirmed a drop in the unemployment rate to a 14 year low of 4.3 percent. This is also great news as we continue to face unemployment challenges in Wisconsin. Additionally, the average Initial Unemployment Insurance claims for the first 40 weeks of 2015 dropped to the lowest point since 1990, and the annual average weekly continued UI claims are at their lowest levels since 2000."

    1. Yep, Tom Tiffany is a dishonest sack of shit. I agree.

      By the way, the disconnect between the increase in.mass layoffs vs the lower unemployment claims is something I find VERY interesting. Sure makes me wonder if somethings going on over at Walker's DWD