Saturday, November 5, 2011

Walker's net employment growth rate lower than Doyle's in 2010

Net employment growth rate faster under previous governor's last year in office than under Walker's "reforms" year

Some more fun with numbers...

Last month I took a look at the employment numbers that Wisconsin had posted for the month of September. Comparing the number of employed Wisconsinites from that month to the beginning of the year, it was clear that not much change had taken place, that Gov. Scott Walker's "reforms" weren't putting Wisconsin back to work.

There's a stark difference, however, between the number of employed versus the number of jobs created. People can work two or three different part time jobs; and while that's only one person "employed," it still technically counts as three jobs created.

So let's look at these numbers. From this year alone (January to September), the number of jobs in the state has increased by 11,800 (click here to read why Walker's job boasting claims are misleading). Judging by those numbers, you might be inclined to believe that, even if not impressive, at least Walker's "reforms" are moving us in the right direction.

But is Walker really succeeding, or is he benefiting from dumb luck? Let's compare the numbers from a year ago, while Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, was still in office. The comparison is important because Doyle and Walker employed very different methods during their terms in office. For example, Doyle didn't give hundreds of millions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations, didn't impose strict tort reform, and perhaps most important didn't remove the rights of state workers.

In January of 2010, Wisconsin had 2.7236 million jobs. By September of 2010, that number had increased to 2.7346 million -- a difference of 11,000 jobs.

Walker still has the slight edge over Doyle -- but the difference is marginal (11,800 versus 11,000). That's hardly an accomplishment worth celebrating. Remember, to get that higher rate (a rate that could have arguably remained in place with the same Democratic policies that Doyle used), we had to give hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations, in turn gutting billions in public services (such as health care, education, and care for the disabled and elderly), AND stripping workers of their rights.

To put it in a more visual way, look at this graph. Admittedly, the data only includes January and September of both 2010 and 2011, but that's meant to highlight the net result of jobs created during that time.

The green line is Doyle's net jobs growth during those months, and the purple line is Walker's. The lines, nearly perpendicular, show that there wasn't any rate change taking place -- implying that Walker's reforms did nothing to increase the rate at which jobs grew.

The rate of change during Walker's January-to-September time period in terms of job growth was 0.43 percent. Compare that to Doyle's rate (0.40 percent), and it's clear that the change isn't anything too spectacular.

Again, this is the change in job numbers: as far as employment is concerned, however, the rate of change is actually WORSE for Walker.

Again, the green line represents Doyle's last year in office, and the purple line Walker's first year in office, both through September. The rate of change for employment growth during Jim Doyle's January-to-September last year in office was .343 percent, resulting in a net growth of nearly ten thousand more employed Wisconsinites during that time.

Walker's net rate of change? Hardly noticeable. From January to September of this year, the total net growth in the number of Wisconsinites who are employed in the state is 18. Not 18 percent -- 18 TOTAL. The rate of change? .000638 percent, a rate that is 538 times lower than Doyle's net rate during the same time period in 2010.

Walker's reforms have benefited the wealthy corporations that have backed him from day one. The rest of Wisconsin, however, has been left behind. Not only have services been cut, education been gutted, and rights been stripped, but the effect on job growth has been minimal, at best. And his employment growth rates provide proof that his vision for Wisconsin is taking our state down the wrong path.

(All jobs data found at

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