Monday, July 22, 2013

Wisconsin's February-to-June job numbers the worst since the recession

June's "jump" merely a rebound of losses sustained in months prior

Wisconsin's job numbers for the month of June were released last week (PDF), and on first look they give us something to feel optimistic about for a change.

However, they also come with a huge caveat.

Preliminary estimates for June show that Wisconsin gained more than 17,500 jobs overall, 13,800 of which came from the private sector alone.

Though the Walker administration “urge[s] the public to look at all the economic indicators, including actual job counts” (the QCEW numbers), they were quick to point out the gains as signs of the state economy getting better.

“These economic indicators point to a trajectory of economic growth in Wisconsin under Governor Walker’s leadership,” Department of Workforce Development Sec. Reggie Newson said in a press release.

Indeed, as the release pointed out, this was the largest May-to-June gain in jobs since 2003, a feat that shouldn’t be ignored.

Unfortunately, the Walker administration is ignoring plenty of other data that puts these supposed gains into greater perspective -- namely, how insignificant they truly are.

Case in point: June’s total job numbers are still lower than February’s job totals from earlier this year, highlighting the fact that there were huge losses in the interim months between.

Taking a look at private sector jobs only, the February-to-June gains were lackluster at best, and the worst performance Wisconsin has seen since the recession. Even Walker’s predecessor, Gov. Jim Doyle, had a better February-to-June performance in his last year in office.

In fact, job numbers have gotten slower and slower ever since Gov. Walker put his economic policies into practice, especially considering the fact that Doyle’s budget was still in play during the first February-to-June cycle that Scott Walker was in office for:

The trend shown above is hardly worth celebrating.

While it’s nice to see an uptick in June’s numbers, we need to remember: this is merely a rebound in losses already sustained in the months prior, and nothing more. They don’t indicate that the job picture is getting better -- if anything they highlight it getting worse, with the majority of June’s jobs actually coming from the hospitality and tourism sector, meaning they aren’t permanent.

A May-to-June jump that fast for the tourism and hospitality industry is unprecedented for the past decade. The closest growth in that industry happened just last year, when Wisconsin gained 1,100 jobs in that sector. This year, we gained more than six times that, 7,200 jobs in hospitality and tourism in a single month.

Both the quality and the quantity of jobs that are being created under Gov. Walker’s “leadership” are sub-par. Wisconsin residents have a choice to make: accept Walker’s spinning of the numbers, or accept realities and realize that this governor has failed his state in job creation.


  1. its not working scooter

  2. It would be nice to see more focus on the "quality" of those jobs. As I recall the Gov. actually said 250,000 "well paying" jobs. It's not close on the 250,000 and it's a total joke if you count the well paying jobs (what would that be, maybe a couple dozen in the two years?). I just hope that somehow, some way people wake up to this. If that happens and IF the dems can actually find a candidate maybe we get rid of him.