Friday, March 10, 2017

Who grew jobs at a faster rate, Walker or Doyle? (Here’s a hint: it’s the Democratic governor)

If we had kept pace with Doyle’s rate of employment growth, WI would have 31,300 more workers employed today

The latest monthly jobs report for Wisconsin was released this week, and the numbers are showing some positive things for the state. Unemployment is down to 3.9 percent, a remarkably low number that shouldn’t be disregarded.

However, we should put this report into context. For that, I want to start back in 2009. Former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, signed a budget bill in June of that year with help from a Democratic-controlled legislature. The recovery in the state began shortly thereafter, and in January of 2010 the unemployment rate in the state (then at 9.2 percent) began to decline instead of climb.

By the time Jim Doyle left office, unemployment was down to 8.1 percent.

In all, under Gov. Doyle’s last full year in office, Wisconsin saw a rise in total employment numbers from 2,795,997 workers employed in December of 2009, to 2,824,656 workers employed by December of 2010. Those were the first 12 months of the economic recovery in Wisconsin, and they represent an employment growth of 1.025 percent.

That sounds insignificant on its face, but let’s hold judgment until we compare it to the second governor during Wisconsin’s recovery, Republican Gov. Scott Walker. From December of 2010 to January of 2017 the number of workers employed in the state jumped up to 2,998,400 — or a growth of 173,744 employed workers, about 6.151 percent growth in employed workers since he took office.

That number is obviously higher than Doyle’s. But keep in mind, Walker has had 85 months of Wisconsin recovery, whereas Doyle only had 12 months of recovery in office. So Doyle’s 1.025 percent of growth during 12 months represents around 0.0854 percent growth per month, on average. Walker’s 6.151 percent growth for 85 months represents an average growth of about 0.0724 percent per month.

In other words, if you look at Wisconsin’s recovery from an apples-to-apples comparison — looking at the average monthly growth of each of the state’s governor’s during the recovery ― Republican Scott Walker performs about 15 percent slower, on average, than Democrat Jim Doyle did during his final year in office.

And here’s the big number to think about: if we had kept the pace of the Democratic Doyle’s recovery instead of the Republican Walker’s rate, we’d have 3,029,698 workers employed today. That’s 31,298 more workers that would be working in Wisconsin today if Doyle’s rate of employment growth had held true.

Even when employment numbers look good for Walker, there’s always something he’s hiding. And this is a huge omission he’s kept from the people of Wisconsin these past six years.

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