Monday, October 24, 2011

Assessing -- Part 1: Jobs

Taxpayer-funded website touting Walker's accomplishments only tells part of the story on jobs

The "State of Wisconsin" recently released a new website that touts the accomplishments this year under Gov. Scott Walker. The site, at, looks a lot like a campaign website, using phrases like "How Governor Scott Walker's reforms are working for Wisconsin," implying that this site is about Walker more than Wisconsin.

That would be a clear violation of the law, as government resources cannot be used to promote a candidate for office. Walker isn't unfamiliar with such tactics, and may currently be under investigation for similar misconduct in the offices of Milwaukee County.

With Walker's recall set to begin November 15, it's almost as if Walker is trying to stop the movement dead in its tracks with talking points, supplied by the state of Wisconsin's taxpayers' dollars.

Looking past that just for right now, we should consider the points that Walker -- I mean, the state of Wisconsin -- makes on the site.

"During the first six months of 2011, the private sector in Wisconsin created nearly 40,000 new jobs."

That's an accurate assessment, and every part of that claim is factual. But it's a spin -- it disregards the remaining three months following Walker's -- I mean, "Wisconsin's" -- accomplishment.

In December of 2010, there were 2.7363 million jobs in the state. By June of 2011, there were 2.7751 million, an increase of about 38,800 jobs. But what happened after that?

A lot happened. By September, the number of jobs Wisconsin had decreased to 2755.8 million...a drop of 19,300 jobs, halving Walker's claims -- again, my apologies, "Wisconsin's Reforms Website's" claims -- of creating jobs for the year to 19,500 total.

Total number of jobs in Wisconsin, June to September 2011
All numbers are in thousands

But that assessment only tells half the story. The total number of jobs doesn't tell how many people HAVE jobs -- it doesn't discern from people who have two jobs or people who have multiple part-time jobs. When you judge Walker by the total number of Wisconsinites who are employed, things are flipped completely.

All numbers are in thousands

Except for a blip between February and May of 2011, when 20,000 additional Wisconsinites were employed, from January of this year to September, nothing has changed at all.

In January of 2011 we saw 2,819,301 people employed. In September, that number "grew" to 2,819,319, an increase of 18 more individuals employed.

So Walker's touting of his jobs is rather dull. We've seen a net increase of nearly 20,000 jobs in the state, and a net increase of 18 more individuals employed. Looking at the first six months only tells half of the story of Walker's "accomplishments," which again are being touted in a very campaign-like manner on the taxpayers' dime.

1 comment:

  1. OK, since the whole countries jobs outlook is dire - how are Wis finances doing ofter the reforms? No matter what anyone says - how are public sector unions good for society as a whole? I became a sw engineer because I love programming, my buddy became a police officer because he always wanted to be a cop, my cousin became a teacher because it is what she loves to do. So the states need to tax the hell out of its people to pay the insane benefit packages because these people are doing what they love to do! I know - tax the rich after all, why do they deserve to have all that money when a !only makes blah blah! Dumb! We do not have enough rich people