Thursday, March 2, 2017

Another jobs report, another dismal rate of growth under Scott Walker’s watch

Wisconsin’s third quarter year-over-year jobs growth rate is 25 percent slower than the previous year

UPDATE: The latest national report is out, detailing how Wisconsin did compared with the rest of the country. For my take on that report, please click here.

I just wanted to make a short comment tonight because new jobs numbers are out for Wisconsin, and they don’t look great. In fact, they’re positively dismal.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released its latest report for private sector jobs growth earlier today. The result is the second worst outcome for third quarter year-over-year reporting in the past six years.

The DWD reports that 25,608 private sector jobs were created from September 2015 to September 2016. It sounds like a large number on its own, but don’t be fooled: that’s a very, very low number. It’s also a growth rate of just 1.03 percent — which is 26 percent slower than the previous year’s rate.

Gov. Scott Walker has been touting Wisconsin as an example of what other states should aspire to be. But it’s clear that his trickle-down approach to jobs growth is a dismal failure. The future isn’t so bright after all in the state, not with numbers like these.

You might be looking at the graph above also and wondering, what happened that one year when there were 41,461 jobs? That year was a special year, where nine months of jobs growth occurred under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle’s budget and three months occurred under Scott Walker’s first Republican budget. In other words, jobs growth was faster when Democratic policies were in play.

We can’t compare jobs numbers to other states yet. Wisconsin releases jobs numbers earlier than other states (a relic from Scott Walker doing so just before his recall election campaign). The national numbers are set to come out next week on Tuesday, and we’ll be better able to see then how the state did year-over-year compared to the rest of the country.

Suffice it to say, I’m not holding my breath hoping for a high state ranking, especially since Wisconsin, since Walker took office, has trailed the national rate of job growth by about 35 percent.

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