Sunday, November 20, 2016

“Jobs fail” streak under Scott Walker continues unabated, 40 percent slower than under Jim Doyle

Latest release demonstrates the worst second quarter jobs report yet under Walker’s administration

Wisconsin’s jobs report for the second quarter of 2016 came out last week, detailing how many actual jobs were created from June of 2015 to June of 2016.

The numbers are not that inspiring. The state added 25,656 private sector jobs during that time period, a rate of growth of about 1.04 percent. The current rate of jobs growth pales in comparison when compared to the previous governor’s last budget.

Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, passed his last budget in 2009. Since budgets in Wisconsin are two years in length, his last budget lasted until June of 2011 -- six months into Gov. Scott Walker’s first term in office. In the final year of Doyle’s last budget (from June 2010 to June 2011) Wisconsin created 39,909 jobs, a 1.7 percent rate of private sector jobs growth. The latest jobs report, then, demonstrates a 40 percent slowdown in jobs creation since Doyle's budget expired.

We can’t yet compare Wisconsin’s latest jobs numbers to that of other states -- Walker’s administration released them a month early, a practice they’ve been keeping with since the 2012 recall election. The nation’s jobs numbers, including breakdowns of state-by-state totals, won’t be out until next month. But we can get a little creative with the numbers to demonstrate how bad it’s gotten under Walker.

We can, for instance, compare the rate of private jobs in Wisconsin since Walker’s first budget took effect to 2016 with numbers from states starting in 2011 to just 2015 -- that is, see how many states still fared better than Wisconsin when we're given a one-year disadvantage. And this is where the numbers should really start to worry you: Wisconsin, from June 2011-2016, did worse than 29 other states and DC during the years of 2011-2015.

When compared to the rest of the nation, Wisconsin is far behind the rest. From Lisa Speckhard of the Cap Times:
When Gov. Scott Walker began his term in January 2011, he vowed to create 250,000 new private-sector jobs before the end of his first term. Since that time, private-sector jobs have increased by 198,700, representing a 8.2 percent increase. Nationally, private-sector jobs have increased by 12.2 percent since January 2011.
In other words, Wisconsin under Scott Walker is creating jobs at a rate that’s 32 percent slower than the national average.

This hasn’t stopped Walker’s Department of Workforce Development from trying to play with the numbers to make themselves look better. Earlier this summer, the Walker administration put out a release, using less reliable monthly jobs estimates, claiming that Wisconsin had created almost 50,000 jobs from June 2015 to June 2016.

That’s obviously not what we’re seeing now, under more accurate data. Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse shows us the difference:
Private sector jobs Original June release +49,900 (+1.66%) 
Actual QCEW report +25,656 (+1.04%) 
Jake also points out that, “the 1.04% growth is well below the national rate of 1.92% in that time period.”

Still not convinced? Let’s see a graphical representation of how well Wisconsin has done under Walker:

Remember that the first bar in the graph (the second quarter report ending in 2011) is an all-Doyle budget cycle. Since that time, we have not had a report that has outpaced that last Doyle year.

Some other things to consider:
  • Gov. Walker made a promise that his administration would create AT LEAST 250,000 jobs in four years. It’s been almost six years, and we have yet to reach even 80 percent of that pledge. If we keep up the current pace, we won’t make it to Walker’s jobs pledge until the halfway point of 2018.

  • When criticism of his jobs creation methods was levied in his direction early in his first term, Walker claimed that it was protesters and the recall election that stunted growth. Once we got past all that, Walker claimed we would “see a significant increase” in job creation going forward. The graph above puts that argument to rest -- four years out, we are seeing private sector job growth that’s 36 percent slower than the year of Walker’s gubernatorial recall election. 
Put simply, the policies of Scott Walker haven’t grown jobs in our state. If anything, what little growth we HAVE seen happened IN SPITE of Walker’s trickle down policies. A new set of policies is sorely needed, and unfortunately we’re not going to get it from this administration or this legislature.

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