Did Wisconsin Add 4,300 Public Enemies in February?
DWD released the Wisconsin job numbers for February, 2012 today at noon.
Secretary Newson reported that private jobs increased by 4,000 compared to the previous month. That is an OK number. But from February 2011 to February 2012, the figures show the creation of only 500 private sector jobs in the past year. So to date the Governor has fulfilled two-tenths of one percent (.002) of his campaign promise.
Better looking yet was the Secretary's report of the total of non-farm jobs created over the past month: 8,300. But this number seems pretty suspect. The difference between 8,300 new total non-farm jobs and 4.000 private sector jobs is 4,300, which is exactly the number of new government jobs being reported as created in Wisconsin since last month. Wow! Did the U.S. Army open a secret new training base in northern Wisconsin in February? Did school districts hire back in mid-term some of the 3,400 teacher positions cut in the wake of the budget reforms? If you look at the report, it says all 4,300 of the government jobs are State of Wisconsin employees. Did somebody go behind the governor's back and increase the state's workforce by 5 percent in one month?
This is, of course, an anomaly in the report. Presumably the Department of Administration with a few keystrokes on someone's computer can come up with the net number of state employees added or lost over February to within a dozen or two. Does Secretary Newson point out the clear anomaly in his press release, in order to temper his assertion that the state added 8,300 non-farm jobs? Here is all he says:
Seasonally adjusted data also show that, compared to January, total non-farm employment increased 8,300, including the private sector and a 4,300 increase in government jobs. Compared to February 2011 data, government employment was down 17,400.But simply saying "total non-farm employment increased 8,300" sounds much better than "total non-farm employment increased 8,300, but this includes a total of 4,300 new state government jobs, the creation of which, as everyone knows, goes against every fiber of this administration's body and is totally illusionary."
Maybe a media type will ask the Secretary how this huge number came about.