Thursday, September 8, 2016

Another quarter, another subpar Wisconsin performance on jobs and wages

A few reactions from the newly-released “gold standard” Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1.Wisconsin continues to dredge in the lower half of the nation for job growth. For the 12 months between March 2015 and March 2016, Wisconsin ranked 35th in the US for overall job growth, and 33rd for private sector growth. I guess you could consider that improvement compared to being 36th f for private sector growth in the last QCEW Report, but it’s still nothing special, and it continues Scott Walker’s “streak” of having the state in the bottom 20 for jobs in every QCEW report that has happened entirely on his watch.

2.Wisconsin still tends to trail its Midwest neighbors for job growth as well, although give us a golf clap for squeaking into the middle of the pack for the private sector. And I do mean squeaking.

Private Sector job growth Mar 2015-Mar 2016
Mich +2.3%
Ind. +2.1%
Ohio +1.9%
Wis. +1.58%
Minn +1.57%
Ill. +1.4%
Iowa +0.9%

Total job growth Mar 2015-Mar 2016
Mich +2.1%
Ind. +1.9%
Ohio +1.8%
Minn +1.5%
Wis. +1.3%
Ill +1.2%
Iowa +0.9%

And only the ongoing mess in Illinois has kept Wisconsin from being dead last in the Midwest for private sector job growth since Act 10 was jammed through the State Legislature in March 2011.

Private Sector job growth Mar 2011-Mar 2016
Mich +13.2%
Ind. +10.4%
Minn +9.6%
Ohio +9,4%
Iowa +7.9%
Wis. +7.8%
Ill. +7.5%

3.But even more concerning than the still-lagging job numbers were the figures on wages. Wisconsin’s average weekly private sector wage was DOWN $5 from where it was in March 2015. And even worse, that’s from an already low-wage base that keeps Wisconsin well behind many of its neighbors, especially the ones to our west and south.

Weekly average wage, private sector March 2016
Ill. $1,243
Minn $1,084
Mich $978
Ohio $906
Wis. $874
Ind. $857
Iowa $836

And the same pattern repeats for manufacturing wages, except if anything, Wisconsin lags even further behind. Look at what we’re (not) paying here in Wisconsin compared to our neighbors.

Weekly average wage, manufacturing March 2016
Ill. $1,397
Mich $1,280
Minn $1,201
Ind. $1,194
Ohio $1,120
Wis. $1,052
Iowa $1,033

Gee, you wonder why the oligarchs at WMC complain that they can’t find anyone? BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT PAYING ENOUGH TO COMPETE! And we’re giving over our state’s economic policies and Supreme Court to these “geniuses”?

More telling is that this QCEW survey reflects right-to-work (for less) laws being in place for all 12 months of this time period, and not only did Wisconsin LOSE more than 500 manufacturing jobs, but weekly wages dropped by 1.5% in that time. Guess “suppressing wages and union power to add jobs” doesn’t quite work the way that lying righties sold it as, eh?

So to sum up today’s QCEW report- same subpar garbage we’ve seen for the last 5 years in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan. The only way we’ll break out of these doldrums is to remove the lawmakers and their puppetmasters who have driven this state down. KNOW THIS.


  1. Don't forget to mention that the exceedingly-expensive Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit has been ramping up over the last few years, to 5.025% in 2015 so that Wisconsin manufacturers aren't even paying 3% taxes for the entirety of the March 2015 - March 2016 period.

    Then in 2016 the credit is 7.5% against the tax rate of 7.9%, and our manufacturing jobs growth rate is still worse than the nation's.

    I'm glad to see that my State Senator is on the ball there.

    1. Yep, a tax cut that shows NOTHING for helping job growth. In fact, manufacturing job growth is slower over the last 2 years, despite the write-off getting larger and larger.

      Wait, maybe that's the idea- hoard profits, refuse to add jobs, and make workers more desperate. NAAAAAH! That's crazy talk!

    2. Ultimately though that is self-defeating in that it drives talent out of Wisconsin. Well, apart from the free money part.

      I think the full plan is: (a) complain about the lack of skilled workers (prepared to work for low-low wages), thus providing a legislative excuse for (b) getting taxpayers to subsidize them by increasing the supply of skilled workers via technical schools and/or on-the-job training subsidies; (c) thus maintaining their low pay regimen.