The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released employment figures today for June, 2012. Wisconsin lost 13,200 jobs in June, the largest loss of any state and one of only three states that showed a statistically significant loss of jobs.
The Wisconsin unemployment rate also went up to 7.0% in June, from 6.8% in May.
Those are bad numbers, but they are preliminary figures that could be slightly revised later. What makes them interesting was that during his recent recall campaign, Governor Scott Walker declared that job numbers would skyrocket after the election because job
creators creationists were not hiring due to political uncertainty. Well, the election is over. Walker won on June 5th and in response, the job creationists started folding up the tents and laying off workers faster than any other state in the union.
That's just one month, though, you might be thinking. I'm not done. The less sexy but more signicant chart is below the cheez doodle.
Even more shocking to me is the chart showing statistically significant changes in employment covering the past year, from the end of June, 2011 to the end of June, 2012. During that time, 30 states showed measurable gains in employment. Wisconsin was not one of them.
This is important because Governor Walker’s infamous “budget repair bill” was implemented at the end of June, 2011, after numerous court delays. His first budget went into effect on July 1, 2011. What we got today was one year’s worth of data showing the effectiveness of Scott Walker’s economic policies. At best, he has created no new jobs in the first year that his policies were in place. (The Wisconsin numbers actually show a net loss of about 19,000 jobs but that loss is not statistically significant.)
What really hurts is that during the same time, other industrial Midwest states like Ohio and Indiana gained significant numbers of jobs. Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota did, too. Illinois did not make the list, but their numbers indicate a net gain. All 4 states that border Wisconsin created jobs in the past year. Wisconsin did not. According to the Wisconsin State Journal:
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the latest figures were not a surprise, given the weak national job creation numbers released earlier this month.In those few recent months where the BLS reports have shown job gains in Wisconsin, Walker claimed all the glory and failed to credit the national economy. As far as job numbers go, I guess the Governor’s spokespeople have learned to Walkerize the gains and Obamafy the losses.
3:21 PM PT: If you want to give yourself a headache, try to make heads or tails out of this confusing press release from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development as they try to hide the bad news...