Thursday, January 19, 2012

December job numbers produce sixth straight month of losses (with graphs)

What little gains did occur last year came about under the Doyle budget

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released its preliminary job numbers for the month of December today. Unfortunately, the data suggests more of the same: jobs continue to decline in the state.

For the sixth straight month, Wisconsin lost jobs. About 1,700 jobs were lost in the month December, and the revised number of jobs lost in November was 13,600. In total, since the Walker budget passed in June, Wisconsin has lost more than 35,000 jobs.


What's remarkable about the job numbers is that the Walker administration continues to insist that their reforms are working. From the DWD report:
"The seasonally adjusted data also show that, compared to December 2010, the private sector gained 13,500 jobs, including 9,300 in manufacturing and 8,200 in educational and health services."
So from the start of the year, Wisconsin improved. But was that Walker's doing?

As the graphs above show, many of the job increases that DID occur over the course of the year happened in the first six months -- during the tail end of former Gov. Jim Doyle's 2009-11 budget, not Walker's.

Let's look at net job gains/losses for each governor, for two of the categories the DWD report listed in the quote above: Manufacturing, and Education and Health services.

What can we assess here? Under the last few months of the Doyle budget, Education and Health service jobs increased by nearly 8,000 jobs in 2011. During the next 6 months -- under Walker's budget -- that slowed to just under 2,000 jobs added, signaling a slower rate in growth within that sector.

In manufacturing, the end result was even worse: in the first six months (under Doyle's budget), there were 11,200 jobs gained. But in the last six months (Walker's budget), there was actually a loss in jobs within manufacturing, with nearly 6,000 jobs disappearing from that category.

A slowed rate of growth and a net loss in jobs...and these are the things the Walker administration is bragging about?

There is one more aspect of the job data that isn't getting as much attention. In total, the state lost about 1,700 jobs. But 3,900 jobs were lost in the private sector alone. Why is the net lower than the private sector losses? The answer: there was a growth of 2,200 public sector jobs, a category which has actually seen months of decline over the course of the last year (more than 10,000 public sector jobs were eliminated in 2011). As much as Walker would hate to admit it, the modest growth in public sector jobs probably made the headlines less harsh than they could have been.

The Walker administration continues to brag about the net gains from 2011. But those gains didn't occur while the governor's budget was in operation -- they occurred under the previous governor's budget. From the time that Walker's budget became law, however, Wisconsin has seen tens of thousands of jobs disappear.

In short, the reforms for job growth that Walker has implemented thus far aren't working at all. It's proof once again that under Scott Walker's leadership, "it's not working" after all.


  1. Scott Walker is incompetent.

  2. Chris Walker > Scott Walker

  3. I know this: 300,000 public sector employees lost disposable income that is NOT being spent in this state. Tack on the money NOT being spent by their spouses and children who also have lost disposable income, and it's a significant loss of revenue for Wisconsin's businesses. I don't buy as much of anything anymore, and even went hunting this year to put food in the freezer. That's Scott Walker's effect on my family. I AM NOT BETTER OFF TODAY THAN I WAS A YEAR AGO, AND IN TALKING WITH MY NEIGHBORS, SOME OF WHOM SUPPORTED SCOTT WALKER, NEITHER ARE THEY. Come election day, let's put Scott Walker back on the street where he has put many previously employed people.

  4. I laugh when I hear the Walker ad describing how he eliminated Wisconsin's budget deficit by "asking" Wisconsin's public service workers to contribute more to their health care and pensions "just like everyone else does." Two things: 1)Scott Walker did not ask anyone to contribute anything. He would negotiate, remember? He simply took his hammer and pounded that square peg into a round hole. Surprised then he was when people taking that pounding protested... 2) Scott Walker didn't balance anything except his litany of lies with his Declarative Acts. If one doesn't tell you he is going to strip you of your ability to bargain in good faith for a health care, pension, and salary, one IS STILL A LIAR! Scott Walker is one. Anyone who has ever negotiated those three benefits with a school board doesn't understand that there is not an infinite pot of money from which teacher unions can demand more, more, more. There is a finite amount of money that then is allocated for each of the three benefits. If a union asks for the employeer to pay more for health care and pension, the obvious and ultimate result is less money for salary. And so on. Walker painted public sector unions as killing Wisconsin's economy. When then, a year after the square peg was hammered into the round hole has Scott Walker's budget fix been a bust?

  5. The 7:22 post from anonymous should actually read "He would NOT negotiate, remember?" Anonymous must have been really worked up! As if they were terrorists, the Guv would NOT negotiate with the unions, even though unions in Wisconsin had been negotiating in Wisconsin for decades.

  6. If we are at -35000 does Scooter now have to hit 285000?

  7. The rich should pay the same tax rates as the other 99% of us. The millions that are flowing into the Walker coffers for his recall election comes from the rich who want to continue to pay a tax rate under 15%. They know Walker will deliver the goods for them, based on his history since his election.