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Bad News For Walker

State

In case you missed it,  the June 21  Journal Sentinel  article by Craig Gilbert states:

Gov. Walker's rockiest week since the recall culminated with the release Thursday of documents containing allegations  by prosecutors that he was part of “a criminal scheme” to bypass state election laws.

But the story that in the long run may represent a more fundamental political challenge for the governor was the batch of new jobs figures also out Thursday painting an unflattering picture of Walker’s first three years in office.

Wisconsin ranked 35 of 50 states in private-sector job growth between 2010 and 2013, trailing all its closest Midwest neighbors — even Illinois, the state the governor has repeatedly bashed for having a hostile business climate.

This wasn’t just another mundane jobs report. It contained the most accurate and thorough pre-election portrait we’re going to get of how Wisconsin’s job performance compares with that of other states during Walker’s first term.

The news story also conveys:

Here are some takeaways from last week’s report from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the government’s most reliable source of employment data and the one the governor himself has endorsed as the authoritative measure of job trends at the state level:

  • Falling far short of his jobs promise  (Instead of the 250,000 new private-sector jobs Walker promised, the state is on pace for less than half that many in Walker's first term)
  • Lagging behind the nation and region (In each of Walker's first three-years, Wisconsin has added private-sector jobs more slowly than the nation as whole, and the gap is sizeable.  Wisconsin's ranking in private-sector job growth was 35 among the 50 states in 2011, 36 in 2012 and 37 in 2013)
  • Continuation of a trend ( But whatever you think has contributed to slow job growth here--overreliance on manufacturing, a brain drain of college grads, demographic trends, the governor's policies, the political upheaval overr the governor's policies, the legacy of past policies--the job trends have failed to live up to Walker's jobs rhetoric.   There is no improving trend in QCEW numbers from [Gov} Doyle's last year through Walker's first three years; 2013 private-sector job growth was actually slower than 2010, 2011, and 2012 growth.  While the unemployment rate is down, the 250,000 jobs target is nowhere in sight. And Wisconsin continues to underperform most states in the nation and region. )

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