Thursday, July 2, 2015

Scott Walker jabs Obama on Twitter, but who's really winning on job growth?

Walker uses one metric (and ignores a slew of others) when attacking POTUS

On Thursday the staff that manages Scott Walker’s Twitter account released a statistic meant to poke fun at President Barack Obama’s jobs record.

Obama was visiting La Crosse to tout his plan to increase the number of Americans eligible for “time and a half” overtime pay.

So, just hours after Gov. Walker and President Obama shook hands, it seemed like the most opportune time for Team Walker to tweet something out against the president:

At first glance that statistic seems to say that Walker did a better job than Obama on unemployment, specifically in La Crosse County where he was speaking at. But the stat doesn’t look at anything beyond the unemployment rate, and doesn’t take into account the number of people who stopped looking for work.

And when you look at other measures, the statistic ceases to be relevant.

Take a look at total private sector jobs created in La Crosse County from the time Gov. Walker took office to December of 2014 (the latest date that the most complete QCEW jobs data is available).

During that time the county grew by about 2,073 jobs, or a growth rate of about 3.6 percent in private sector jobs over the course of four years.

If you look at the U.S. as a whole, that number is significantly higher – in fact, the nation grew private sector jobs over the same time frame at about 9.3 percent.

Wisconsin is also having a terrible year when it comes to layoffs. Just halfway through 2015, the state has already surpassed the number of planned layoffs we saw last year.

At the pace we’re going, it’s set to be the worst year yet for layoffs during the Walker era.

Finally, Walker and his staff neglect to mention the year-over-year data for the latest month available (May 2014) shows the county of La Crosse is doing dismally compared to the nation as a whole on jobs.

From May 2013 to May 2014, the U.S. gained just under three million new workers. The yearly growth in employment was about 2.16 percent compared to the figure from 2013.

In La Crosse County, their employment growth was only about 300 new workers from year-to-year, or less than 0.4 percent growth.

Gov. Walker and his campaign staff may think that they have one-upped the president with their tweet. But real Wisconsinites recognize that things aren’t going so great in the Badger State. Which is why, even if he does make a successful run for the GOP nomination for president, he won’t win the the public over in the general election.

Heck, he won’t even win Wisconsin.


  1. If unemployment is at 4% in LaCrosse it must mean that many of those citizens who couldn't find work in Wisconsin found jobs in Minnesota.

  2. If unemployment is at 4% in LaCrosse it must mean that many of those citizens who couldn't find work in Wisconsin found jobs in Minnesota.

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