As bad as this may sound, Wisconsin didn’t fare as horribly as I thought, even with our job totals for 2016 dropping by 70%, because many other states also fell off last year (especially oil-producing states). So Wisconsin stayed at 33rd for private sector job growth and 32nd overall. But it’s still not good, and as Wisconsin Public Radio’s Shawn Johnson noted, it means Wisconsin has been the bottom 20 for private sector job growth for each of Scott Walker’s 6 years in office.
WI's rankings in private sector job growth since @GovWalker took office:— Shawn Johnson (@SJohnsonWPR) June 7, 2017
If the Brewers were in 4th place in the NL Central for 6 straight years, or the Packers in 3rd place in the NFC North for 6 straight years (and that’s the equivalent of being in the 30s for job growth), would you think that coach/manager would still be around? HELL NO! And Scott Walker thinks we should be celebrating where we’re at in Wisconsin, and given a 4-year contract extension based on that record? Are you fucking kidding me?
Compared to the rest of our neighbors in the Midwest, Wisconsin also was in the bottom half for job growth…again.
Private-sector job growth, 2016
And notice how our neighbors across the St. Croix River more than doubled us up. That continues a trend where Minnesota has kicked our ass since 2010, when Democrat Mark Dayton began his tenure at the same time that Walker took over in Wisconsin. Even more remarkably, Minnesota has now gained nearly 70,000 more jobs than Wisconsin at the same time, and has added more jobs than Wisconsin in every year since 2010, despite starting from a lower number.
Going back out to the rest of the Midwest, only Iowa’s miserable last 2 years has kept Wisconsin out of dead last for private sector job growth since 2010. Yes, even the dysfunctional fools in Illinois are still beating us over the last 6 years.
And if you dig down into county numbers, it looks even worse for much of Wisconsin. 34 of the state’s 72 counties lost private-sector jobs, headed up by Milwaukee County’s loss of 3,141 jobs, but also including wide swaths of rural Western, Central and Northern Wisconsin – the very areas that flipped hard for Donald Trump in the November election. Hmm, wonder if they’ll be accepting Trump’s and Walker’s happy talk on the economy when things still suck there in 2018?
The job growth that did occur was heavily concentrated into a few places. And this shouldn’t be a surprise, but us wacky lib’ruls in Madison were surrounded by a (sucky) Wisconsin reality when it came to job growth in 2016.
Private sector job growth, 2016
Dane County +4,876
Winnebago Co. +1,665
Wood County +1,214
Brown County +1,107
La Crosse Co. +898
REST OF THE STATE +1,788
And while apartments and condos sprout up everywhere around the Madison isthmus filled with new college grads working for companies like Epic Systems, take a look at this report from Channel 12 in Milwaukee, which describes a city having trouble attracting young talent.
According to a new article on Time magazine's website, most urban centers saw an increase in millennials from 2010 to 2015 and 11 cities saw a decline. The Urban Land Institute said Milwaukee's urban millennial population saw a negative change of 1.8 percent. Chicago's millennials declined by 1 percent.So Dane County was responsible for over 40% of the statewide increase in private-sector employment for the year, while the Milwaukee Metro area was losing jobs. Maybe our state’s economic strategists should pay attention to what’s working in the Mad City, and stop listening to failing corporate slime like Tim Sheehy and the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce? What’ja think?
The Milwaukee statistics don't surprise Matt Cordio, co-founder and CEO of Startup Milwaukee.
"A bunch of my friends were passing around this article through email," Cordio said. "We have wonderful academic institutions attracting students, and it's unfortunate we can't keep them here after they graduate."
There is zero reason to believe Wisconsin will make any kind of turnaround from this horrid record in the 17 months to come, especially given what a train wreck the budget and the Trump Administration is proving to be. The only way it changes is if leadership is changed. PERIOD.
Shit, if they can figure this out in KANSAS (39th for job growth in 2016), and vote in responsible legislators that can be responsible and stop the madness of their idiotic, Koch-owned governor, there’s no reason we can’t do the same. We can even upgrade the Governor position in the process!