According to the latest data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin added 24,305 private-sector jobs in the 12 months from March 2012 to March 2013---a 1.1% increase .
However, the U.S. grew private-sector jobs at a rate of 2% in that period, nearly double Wisconsin’s rate.
Not only did Wisconsin trail neighboring states Michigan (2.8%), Minnesota (2.1%), Indiana (1.4%) and Iowa (1.2%), it only ranked 34th out of the 50 states! Yikes!
Although Gov. Scott Walker made a campaign promise to add 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his 4-year term (2015), only 63,672 jobs were created during his first two full years in office, so he’s nowhere close to meeting that pledge.
Walker has been trying to duck responsibility for the state’s slow job growth by blaming the gubernatorial recall election that was held in June last year.
But Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca contends the latest jobs figures show Republican policies are failing:
"Wisconsin lags much of the nation in job growth because Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans have spent the past two and a half years undermining workers, public schools and people who need health care instead of focusing on jobs and improving economic prospects for middle-class families.”
Scott Ross (Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now) sums it up this way:
"While Gov. Walker criss-crosses the country in pursuit of his personal political ambitions and pushes an anything-but-jobs legislative agenda back home, the hard-working people of Wisconsin get stuck with his failure. The latest job numbers show we, again, lag behind the national average in job creation.
"Under Gov. Walker we've endured a steady stream of scandal - felonious campaign activity by top aides and close associates, his economic development agency losing track of millions of dollars and using public funds to buy football tickets, booze and gift cards, and the latest sleazy attempt to give potentially millions of taxpayer dollars to a politically connected front group that endorsed him.
"He's divided the state as never before with radical attacks on workers, voters and women's health services. And he's enacted extremist policies like records cuts to education, kicking 92,000 people off their state BadgerCare and giving away billions in tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations.
"It's no wonder Gov. Walker's special interest cronies are in panic mode and are scrambling to boost his sagging poll numbers with a nearly million dollars in television ads to date, over a year out from election day and before he even has a declared opponent.
"Based on the latest report of sub-par job performance by the Gov. Walker it's clear the only 250,000 number he'll achieve in his term is 250,000 frequent flier miles.”