It snuck up on me, but the “gold standard” Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages (QCEW) was released today, and having this report showing the 12 months of 2015 makes for a good benchmark to see if anything changed in the state’s economic fortunes after Scott Walker was re-elected in 2014, and received the largest GOP majorities in the Legislature in decades.
Well, we go to the handy QCEW map site and see what it has to say. The answer comes back: “No, we still suck.”
Private-sector job growth, Midwest 2015
6th out of 7 is still unacceptable, as is staying stuck in the bottom 1/3 of US job growth, in 36th place. An interesting sidelight of these numbers is that Wisconsin’s job growth figures were revised down from what Walker’s Department of Workforce Development reported in its QCEW pre-release last month.
Wisconsin private sector job growth, QCEW 2015
May DWD report +35,565
Finalized by BLS +31,670
This means that not only did Wisconsin private sector job growth slow down quite a bit from 2014’s 1.55%, but we were also below the 1.50% rate of job growth that Wisconsin had in 2010. That was under Jim Doyle and the Dems, and that’s the recovery rate Walker inherited when he took office, promising to make the state “open for business.” How’s that working out for us.
Even worse is that the national economy was adding a lot more jobs in 2015 than it was in 2010 (2.1% in 2015 vs 1.3% in 2010). And it’s not just the rest of the country that we continue to stay behind. 2015 continued a notorious stat for Wisconsin that began with Walker’s first year in office, where Wisconsin has been dead last for total private-sector Midwest job growth since the end of 2010 in one of Walker’s 5 years in office.
In addition to Minnesota continuing to leave us in the dust since both states changed governors after 2010 (+9.85% vs 9.13%) take a look at how Illinois also is doing better than Wisconsin, with the gap growing over the last 2 years. Given the fiscal disaster in the Land of Lincoln, that’s quite amazing.
I’m not sure we need to heed Assembly Dem Leader Peter Barca’s call for the Legislature to end their 10-month vacation early and get back to work for a special session on jobs (what’ll change with the current crew around?). But I do think this continuing jobs failure should be hung completely around the necks of a Governor who spent much of 2015 running a laughable campaign for president instead of worrying about what was best for the constituents that pay his salary. And the corrupt WisGOP dimwits who have signed off on these loser policies should pay a severe price in November’s elections, even if they didn’t vote for Walker’s education-cutting budget, because they allowed Robbin’ Vos and Scott Fitzgerald to assume leadership and promote their agenda.
Simply put, the only way I see us ever not being in and around the cellar for new jobs is to change the people in charge. Just ask the people of the bankrupt states of Kansas (41st in job growth in this report) and Louisiana (46th) about how well things worked with their Koch/ALEC “leadership” last year, and realize that’s where we’re headed with the current group of WisGOP clowns and crooks.