May 25, 2012

On jobs—Scott Walker v. Center for Wisconsin Strategy

Scott Walker on jobs - Grifting and winnowing

Scott Walker's lies against empirical rigor; state's jobs deficit over 225,000

Wisconsin lost jobs again in April 2012, ending the month 5,900 jobs behind where it started.

This means Wisconsin continues to fall behind even as the national labor market slowly grows.

Job losses hit the private sector, which lost 6,200 jobs. The public sector grew by 300 jobs.

By the Center for Wisconsin Strategy

From the Center for Wisconsin Strategy

After a very weak 2011 — indeed using Current Employment Survey (CES) data Wisconsin posted the worst 2011 job performance in the nation — the state started 2012 on a better footing, with two consecutive months of job gains. March and April’s losses undermine that trend and should serve as a reminder that recovery in the state remains weak.

Even using the recently released data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which shows jobs slightly up in 2011 in contrast to the decline shown in the CES, growth is so weak (2,000 jobs per month) that it will take more than a decade to recover from the recession at this pace.

The state’s jobs deficit remains over 225,000, a gap which accounts both for job losses and population growth. We still need 150,000 jobs for Wisconsin simply to get back to the number of jobs it had before the recession began in December 2007. And to keep pace with population growth since December 2007, we need to add another 75,500 jobs.

Both manufacturing and construction lost jobs in April. The recession was brutal for manufacturing, leaving the sector with a loss of 15 percent of its jobs, but the sector’s recovery has been fairly steady. Though the sector lost 1,300 jobs in April, it has posted growth over the last two years and is now 10 percent below December 2007. Construction, by contrast, was hit harder by the downturn and posted declines into the last year. There is little evidence of economic turnaround in this sector, which lost another 1,700 jobs last month.

Unemployment fell slightly from 6.8 percent to 6.7 percent in April. It remains well above prerecession levels but is drifting slowly downward.

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