Tuesday, January 8, 2013

BLS' QCEW Shows Wisconsin in 42nd Place in Job Creation

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) for the second quarter of 2012.  The data compares employment numbers of each state on a year-to-year basis.  Thus, the data shows number of new jobs created from the end of the second quarter of 2011 to the end of the second quarter of 2012 for each state, the District of Columbia and two territories, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

 This is the data set that Governor Walker's administration calls the gold standard for measuring the success of his private job creation initiatives.  In raw numbers, the private jobs created in Wisconsin over the one year from June 30, 2011 to June 30, 2012, is not an abysmal number, 35,381.  However, the number equates to private job creation over the Governor's four year term of only about 140,000, well shy of his promise to create 250,000 private sector jobs in his first term.

What is more troubling is how Wisconsin stacks up against the other fifty states in percentage annual growth, and particularly with our Midwest neighbors.  In Q2 of 2012, based on year-to-year employment numbers, Wisconsin ranked 42nd out of 50 states in percentage growth of private jobs.  All of our Midwest neighbors ranked higher:

Indiana       - 8th
Michigan    - 9th
Ohio          - 18th
Iowa          - 25th
Minnesota  - 31st
Illinois        - 38th

To date, there have been three quarterly reports of the QCEW issued by BLA covering full year periods of the Walker Administration.  For the fourth quarter of 2011, we ranked 38th of all states in job creation on an annual percentage basis.  For the first quarter of 2012, we ranked 37th.  And today we rank 42nd.  So we are regressing vis-a-vis the other states in job creation over time during the Walker administration.

By contrast, here is our standing among the fifty states during the last four quarters of the Doyle Administration, based on year-to-year percentage increase results:

Q4 2010 - 11th  (Only Michigan and Indiana out-performed Wisconsin in the Midwest.)
Q3 2010 - 21st
Q2 2010 - 20th
Q1 2010 - 26th

The Doyle Administration was showing steady improvement in job creation compared to the other fifty states during the last four quarters of its term in office.  The Walker Administration has trended the other way, losing ground compared to the other states, and ranking dead last in the Midwest.

If we were going to issue the Walker Administration a letter grade on job creation, it would probably have to be a D. 

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