Saturday, October 22, 2011

September job numbers out -- WI still not growing

Since January, number of employed Wisconsinites has 18 people

During the campaign for governor, Scott Walker made the ambitious claim that he could create 250,000 jobs within his first term. Many people scoffed at the idea, but Walker credited it with being a major reason why he was elected governor.

In June, six months after he took office, the Walker administration announced that its projections would be lowered by about 70,000 jobs, and in September, Walker spoke to WISN's Mike Gousha about the promise he had made on the campaign trail.
Walker: My goal is to still get there -- my goal is to actually exceed that amount [250,000 jobs]. We’re still going to keep pushing.

Gousha: Is it going to be tough to reach that?

Walker: Oh, I think without a doubt.
In other words, Walker backed off slightly of his jobs pledge, framing it as more of a "goal" than a promise.

This week, the Department of Revenue changed it's projections again -- down to 136,000 jobs being added by the end of Walker's term.

It seems that every few months the projections just keep getting lower and lower.

In January, Walker pushed for a special session on jobs and got exactly what he wanted: tort reform and tax cuts for corporations. He got even more corporate tax cuts in the budget he proposed.

Now we're in a different special session on jobs. Aside from a slew of socially conservative bills that have nothing to do with job growth, Walker is yet again poised to get exactly what he wants -- more tort reform legislation and bills catering to special interests among them.

What have we seen as a result of similar legislation from January? Hardly any impact on jobs. In fact, with job numbers released this past week, it's clear that Walker's "jobs" initiatives aren't doing a thing to create more work for Wisconsinites.

When Walker took office, there were 2,819,301 people who had a job in Wisconsin. In September, that number went up to 2,819,319 -- an increase of 18 people employed statewide in nine months. The unemployment rate was at 7.8 percent, an improvement from August (7.9 percent) but still higher than January (7.4 percent).

The higher unemployment rate for Wisconsin bucks the trend that Walker had inherited -- in Gov. Jim Doyle's last year of office, Wisconsin saw its unemployment rate decrease every month, beginning at 9.2 percent in January of 2010 and ending at 7.5 percent in December of that year. That trend continued until April of 2011, after which Wisconsin saw increases in its unemployment rate while under Walker's control.

Wisconsin's rate has increased faster than the national rate, which has remained relatively stagnant since the start of the year, when it was 9.0 percent in January, to it's current position of 9.1 percent.

What can we draw from this? Walker's jobs session earlier this year didn't do anything to help the state. His job session that is currently taking place, with many of the same initiatives found within it, will likely have the same effect.

With Walker running things, Wisconsin won't see any improvement in its job numbers. It's just one of the many reasons why a recall of the governor is justified, among many, many others.

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