Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another interesting graph on unemployment in WI

Unemployment rate lowered under Doyle, grew under Walker

More analysis of employment numbers between current Gov. Scott Walker and his predecessor, Gov. Jim Doyle. This time, let's look at the unemployment rate:

The rate of unemployment Wisconsin had seen included 16 straight months of dipping, starting at a 9.2 rate in January of 2010 and getting to its lowest point at 7.3 percent in April of 2011. From May to August, however, there was four months of unemployment increase. In September, the rate once again lowered to 7.8, an improvement of 0.1 percent.

Walker and his supporters have previously touted the accomplishments they've made in job growth for the state. But it's clear to anyone looking at this graph that the accomplishments aren't that stellar after all.

First off, the first dip in unemployment that Walker has taken credit for at the beginning of the year took place at the end of the sixteen-month streak that included twelve months of unemployment decrease under his predecessor. It's possible that Walker was simply riding Doyle's coattails during that time.

Second, when you total the number of months that unemployment has dipped in Wisconsin while under Walker's watch, you can count those four straight months, plus the month of September, for a total of five. However, during three of those first four months, unemployment actually plateaued, remaining at the same rate. The rate only dipped once during that time, in January (when Walker began his term), after which it stayed the same until April where it modestly dipped again, then increased for four straight months after that.

At best, Walker saw five months during his term where unemployment either dipped or remained the same. At worst, there were three months of nonconsecutive improvement, two months of nothing happening, and four straight months of an increase in unemployment numbers.

This is hardly anything for Walker to be proud of, much less base rationale on for a recall election against him.

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