Thursday, October 17, 2019

Sept jobs report shows Wisconsin unemployment up again, with tame job growth

Another Wisconsin jobs report came out on Thursday, and while this time we had job gains for the first time in the last 3 months, it still wasn’t much.
Place of Work Data: Wisconsin added 12,300 private-sector and 11,400 total non-farm jobs from September 2018 to September 2019. From August 2019 to September 2019 Wisconsin added 1,900 private-sector and 3,000 total non-farm jobs.
Even with the gains in September, we are still more than 9,000 private sector jobs behind where we were 8 months ago, and one sector is especially struggling.

Manufacturing jobs, Wisconsin
Sept 2019 -2,200
Since January 2019 -6,500
Last 12 months -6,600

So why is manufacturing-heavy Wisconsin doing so terribly in a time when the economy is still allegedly growing in the US? Let’s talk to the mouthpiece for our state’s business oligarchs and find out.
Industry experts have pointed to international trade disputes and the rising cost of materials brought on by tariffs as a key factor behind uncertainty in Wisconsin's manufacturing market.

When manufacturers face uncertainty in the economy they tend to brace themselves, rather than make new capital investments.

Kurt Bauer, president and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, earlier this month estimated that about half of WMC’s 3,700 members have reported being negatively impacted by tariffs, while many also support tariffs as they relate to China.
It’s interesting to hear the WMC guy claim that it’s economic conditions, cost of materials and supply-and-demand that determine job growth. So when Bauer and the rest of WMC claimed earlier this year that the $300 million we annually give away to manufacturers was needed to add and keep jobs in the state…they might have been BSing?? NOOOOO!!!

And how do you blue-collars feel when you hear that it’s Donald Trump’s own policies that are a big reason why your job status is a lot more tenuous these days? MAGA, YOU SUCKERS!

Now, manufacturing might be revised a bit higher later in the year, if you benchmark us to most recent the “gold standard” Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages (QCEW). On the flip side, it also seems unlikely that we have 4,700 more retail jobs now compared to September 2018, given that the QCEW said we LOST nearly 9,000 jobs in retail and wholesale trade between March 2018 and March 2019, and that a lot of these scenes have happened around Wisconsin since then.

The jobs report also tells us that more people are becoming unemployed in Wisconsin, even as our labor force ages and stagnates. Unemployment bumped up in September to 3.2%, the 4th straight month we’ve had a 0.1% increase in unemployment after bottoming out in 2.8% in May.

Now 3.2% unemployment is still pretty low, but it’s also the first time in 2 years that 100,000 Wisconsinites were reported to be unemployed. Which means that the lack of people working in the state is now not being matched (as much) by work force dropouts, like we saw in 2018 and the first part of 2019.

Put it together, and it nearly 29,000 fewer Wisconsinites are “employed” compared to the start of 2018….when the GOP’s Tax Scam took effect.

Maybe (and hear me out on this one) tax cuts aren’t the answer when it comes to growing jobs and attracting the labor force in Wisconsin. Maybe in the 2010s, we should have been investing in quality of life in Wisconsin, valued our public education, and upgraded our infrastructure instead of turning away billions of dollars from DC and busting unions to….make Scott Walker look good to right-wing oligarchs?

CHANGE COURSE, WISCONSIN. And fire all politicians and judges who supported the right-wing BS that has helped us fall further and further behind.

1 comment:

  1. Minnesota raised taxes on its wealthiest residents, invested in education and infrastructure, expanded its social safety net, has a lower population, aided the unionization of workers in companies that contract with the state, relies less on manufacturing to occupy their workforce, and as a consequence...
    ...has a lower child poverty rate, has higher median annual wages, bounced back from the Great Recession with a vigor that proves the Wisconsin GOP and WMAC are a pack of parasitic liars and Fascists, and Minnesota has a higher Annual GDP, a higher GDP per capita, a lower risk of poverty, and a higher Human Development Index.
    Vote these GOP idiots out of office, and watch broadly-shared economic prosperity return to Wisconsin.