Earlier I had discussed how to measure the Governor's promise to the people of Wisconsin to create 250,000 new jobs on his first four year watch. There are labor economists who could better weigh in on the feasibility of the governor's promise, but it seems clear that unless the governor is going to significantly increase the work force in Wisconsin over the next four years, he has created a pretty tall order for himself.
Wisconsin's job numbers in September 2008, just before the Great Recession hit in October were:
Work Force - 3,086,400
Employed - 2,951,600
Unemployed - 134,800
Unemployment rate - 4.4%
The job numbers for January, 2011, when the new Walker Adminstration came to power in Wisconsin were:
Work Force - 3,045,300
Employed - 2,819,300
Unemployed - 226,000
Unemployment rate - 7.4%
The largest level of the Wisconsin work force I could find in DWD reports during the last five years was about 3,133,000 in June, 2008. If the current level of work force, 3,045,300 in January, expands to the level it was at in June 2008, the governor will need to have the unemployment rate in Wisconsin drop to less than 1% to meet his promise. If he could pull that off, then he would deserve to be a national golden boy for the GOP.
But let's be more optimistic and assume that the governor's policies do encourage substantial growth in the work force, by encouraging those Illinois companies to relocate to Wisconsin. If the 4.4% unemployment rate from September 2008 is a respectable rate of unemployment (much
The job number to watch change over time, to see if the governor is pulling his promise off, will be the work force number. If it is rising steadily over time, he may get to his goal.