Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wisconsin proving to be the "gold standard" of jobs failure

When the disastrous “gold standard” jobs numbers were dumped before the Memorial Day weekend, many of us were interested in seeing where that would leave Wisconsin compared to the rest of the nation when it came to the year-totals for 2016. Today we found out, as the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages came out (as always, click the QCEW map to check out the numbers however you want).

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.

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
Mich +1.5%
Ind. +0.9%
Ohio +0.6%
Wis. +0.5%
Ill. +0.4%
Iowa +0.01%

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

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.

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."
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?

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!


  1. That Kansas legislature has had enough of Sam Brownback's Koch/ALEC policies, as they are now having to face the anger of their constituents, who see all too clearly the wreckage Kansas has become.

    Brownback ran for Governor, advised by supply-side guru Arthur Laffer. Brownback's program, written through ALEC, would be touted as his "real live experiment" that would become the "red-state model" for America to emulate. Trouble was, it didn't work out, exept for Charles Koch and Koch Industries.

    Brownbeck created a Governor's Council of Economic Advisors, tasked with preparing quarterly reports on just how these policies were fostering Sam's "Comeback" economy.
    They stopped making reports in mid-2016, as they were proving an embarassment and political liability.

    Scott Walker has followed the Brownback "Comeback" playbook, getting much the same results. Paul Ryan, fresh from his stint writing speeches for supply-side charlatan Jack Kemp at Empower America (later to become Freedom Works, of the Tea Party and Americans for prosperity), became legislative director for Sen. Sam Brownback for 2 years, then coming back to Wisconsin to set up his political career here.

    What happened in Kansas with Brownback and his legislature will send shockwaves nationwide. Let's hope our legislature will see the light and break with the Koch pipedream, for the sake of Wisconsin.

    1. A couple of friends and I were talking about this yesterday. You'd think the Kansas story would be major news, and that Dems should be yelling about it from all corners.

      TRICKLE DOWN AND CORPORATISM DOES NOT WORK. Calling out this fact is an electoral winner, because people know things are wrong, but Dems are often too scared to tell others whose screwing them.

      Go look at how well Jeremy Corbyn and Labour did last night in the UK. There's a reason why, because he spoke truth to power, and had a message that unapologetically said that he was against the corporate elite.

      I'm sick of losing in Wisconsin. Aren't you?

  2. The interesting thing about the comparison between Minnesota and Wisconsin currently in my mind is what the difference will be for 2017 and 2018 and beyond because MN finally passed a 1 Billion Dollar bonding bill(hasn't happened in over 4 years) that's fully passed along with an additional $700 million from the surplus to roads as well as around 700 million in refund surplus rebates. The comparison for 2016 wouldn't include anything like that as previous state spending was so low and minimal in the last few budgets. That's on top of the Mayo expansion of Rochester and all the private development totaling billions, and the fact WI is running out of workers faster, cutting deeper than ever before,and MN starting liquor Sunday sales for the first time since becoming a state. What is the difference in jobs/finances going to look like this year, next year and beyond especially if the national economy doesn't expand faster or even slow slightly? The graphs between both states might end up being on different pages at the rate things are going at the moment. Wisconsin is also getting a lot of residents from Illinois so they must be losing far more residents to MN or other states if the population isn't increasing faster. This may be one reason why Madison alone is growing faster. Although it confuses the situation in Milwaukee areas where they are shrinking even with people moving in from Illinois? Could the influx from Illinois by offset by larger losses to MN and other states? Development on the MN side of the St. Croix does seem much faster than on the Wisconsin side. The same seems true with Rochester vs La Crosse and Duluth vs Superior from what I've seen recently.

  3. No, I'm WINNING in Wisconsin along with just about everyone I know, so I'm quite good, no, strike that, GREAT with how things are going. Governor Walker is going to carry on to a third term in 2018, Jake, and hopefully you can move your ass to Minnesota or Illinois or some other state you profess to love so much.

    1. Well, you are a paid right-wing liar/troll, so I guess these are good times for no-decency types like you. And it goes a long way toward explaining why this state keeps failing.

      The rest of us with a belief in doing something productive for society and where decency and hard work are rewarded, not so much. And Wisconsin needs us a helluva lot more than they need no-talent slime like you.