State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.
Wisconsin Exports Growing
This week, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation released figures for Wisconsin’s exports through the first half of 2012. And they had great news to report.
Wisconsin exported $1.5 billion worth of agricultural products to over 132 countries, which is an increase of 5 percent over the first six months of 2011. Over the same time, U.S. exports of agricultural products totaled $77 billion—a decrease of 4 percent.
Wisconsin’s total exports grew by 7.9 percent in the second quarter of 2012, with specific increases in the exports of industrial machinery, agricultural products, vehicles, and medical and scientific instruments. Wisconsin exports totaled $11.6 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
The production of Wisconsin’s economy is strong, which is demonstrated by the growth of exports. This data is encouraging and signals products made by Wisconsin’s private sector economy are valued all across the world.
While we work to overcome an underperforming national economy, these figures are good news for the residents of our state. Unlike the failed economic policies being currently pursued at the federal level, we will continue to foster a pro-growth environment in Wisconsin to get government out of the way, so private sector employers can create jobs.
First Quarter Jobs Data Shows Growth
Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) sent the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) actual jobs data compiled from unemployment insurance reports submitted by approximately 96 percent of Wisconsin business establishments during the first three months of 2012. The actual jobs count data showed:
In addition to the actual job count, this week the federal government released an estimate of July jobs numbers, known as the Census Employment Statistics or CES. The CES is based off of a survey of roughly 3.5 percent of Wisconsin’s employers. These estimates are currently unreliable for Wisconsin because, for the first time ever, the federal government benchmarked this estimate off of only two quarters of actual jobs data (previously three quarters were used). The quarterly data released this week again shows that CES data for Wisconsin is not accurate.
Recently, there was communication between DWD and the federal government regarding this benchmarking issue. More information regarding DWD’s exchange with the federal government can be accessed by clicking here.
Last year, I indicated I will track job growth by the actual job count data, which is widely regarded as much more accurate than the monthly numbers.
We are committed to working hard to keep growing Wisconsin jobs for workers and families in our great state.
Just Ask the Governor
Each e-update, I answer a question submitted by a recipient of the previous e-update or from someone who contacts my office directly.
Question: Why don’t you update everybody regarding your “laser” focus on jobs?
Answer: While the legislature is out of session, my administration is moving forward on a number of key economic growth initiatives focused on job creation.
We’re continuing to develop and implement our Transform Milwaukee Plan, which is aimed at creating jobs by restoring industrial output, creating jobs, addressing the city’s large inventory of foreclosed properties, and creating a sustainable solution to rainwater run-off. The project will focus on an industrial, residential, and transportation corridor connecting the Century City site, the 30th Street Industrial Corridor, the Menomonee Valley, the Port of Milwaukee and General Mitchell Airport. Just this week, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and the Wisconsin Community Development Legacy Fund (WCDLF) announced the redevelopment of a seven-story 93,025 square foot vacant building into Class A office and research space in Milwaukee. This development will become a new Water Accelerator Center, which will provide space for multiple types of water products, technology and additional economic development projects.
Beyond just Transform Milwaukee, we’ve launched projects related to the Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Program, which provides privately funded grants from Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Inc. This Foundation program serves job creators and job seekers by using technical school education and targeting it to Wisconsin’s immediate employment needs.
Additionally, I’ve been focused on providing much needed relief to the agricultural industry, in response to drought they’ve experienced throughout a good portion of the summer. We took action on a broad range of initiatives, including promotion of the Farmer-to-Farmer network aimed at helping dairy farmers obtain adequate feed for their herds and opening state lands for grazing.
Every single day in office, my primary focus is helping the people of the state create new jobs. I am excited and optimistic about the future of Wisconsin’s economy and about creating opportunity for hard-working small businesses owners to add jobs for our friends and neighbors across our state.
It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.