Tuesday, March 15, 2016

National update shows how bad it's recently been in Wisconsin

I previewed this a bit last week when Wisconsin’s new benchmarked jobs figures came out last week, but now we have a nationwide perspective to compare those new figures to, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the figures for all 50 states on Monday. With these new benchmarks now in place for all the states, it allows us the chance to further evaluate where Wisconsin measures up nationwide, and stands in comparison with the rest of our Midwestern neighbors.

Not that this should surprise you, but it’s not good, as the state has lost serious ground in recent months, losing private sector jobs in each of the last 3 months. Since January 2015, Wisconsin has grown jobs at less than half the rate of the U.S., and is also (yet again) the worst in the Midwest.

Private sector job growth, Jan 2015- Jan 2016
Mich +2.25%
U.S. +2.21%
Iowa +1.73%
Ohio +1.71%
Ind. +1.68%
Minn +1.27%
Ill. +1.10%
Wis. +0.93%

In fact, Wisconsin’s 22,900 private sector jobs gained year-over-year is the lowest 12-month gain in several years, given the new benchmarks that are now in the data. It is also nearly 10,000 below what was gained from January 2010 to January 2011- the 12 months before Scott Walker took office. Also interesting is that the jobs numbers seem to have been revised up in the previous years...which makes the drop in the last year all the more drastic.

Wisconsin private sector job growth, Jan-Jan
Jan 2010-Jan 2011 +32,700 (+1.43%)
Jan 2011-Jan 2012 +30,700 (+1.32%)
Jan 2012-Jan 2013 +29,000 (+1.23%)
Jan 2013-Jan 2014 +37,600 (+1.58%)
Jan 2014-Jan 2015 +46,000 (+1.90%)
Jan 2015-Jan 2016 +22,900 (+0.93%)

Wisconsin sub-1% gain in private sector jobs puts it in the bottom quarter of U.S. states, and the handful of states that have added jobs at a worse rate than Wisconsin in the last year generally fall into two categories-

1. Nailed by the bust in oil prices (such as Louisiana, Oklahoma, Wyoming and North Dakota).

2.Backwards bumblefuck states like Alabama, West Virginia, and Kansas who can’t attract talent.

We’ve sure acted a lot like Number 2 in recent years, haven’t we? And the awful jobs numbers released in the last week have shown how those regressive policies are coming home to roost in Wisconsin more than ever.

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