What little gains did occur last year came about under the Doyle budgetThe Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released its preliminary job numbers for the month of December today. Unfortunately, the data suggests more of the same: jobs continue to decline in the state.
For the sixth straight month, Wisconsin lost jobs. About 1,700 jobs were lost in the month December, and the revised number of jobs lost in November was 13,600. In total, since the Walker budget passed in June, Wisconsin has lost more than 35,000 jobs.
What's remarkable about the job numbers is that the Walker administration continues to insist that their reforms are working. From the DWD report:
"The seasonally adjusted data also show that, compared to December 2010, the private sector gained 13,500 jobs, including 9,300 in manufacturing and 8,200 in educational and health services."So from the start of the year, Wisconsin improved. But was that Walker's doing?
As the graphs above show, many of the job increases that DID occur over the course of the year happened in the first six months -- during the tail end of former Gov. Jim Doyle's 2009-11 budget, not Walker's.
Let's look at net job gains/losses for each governor, for two of the categories the DWD report listed in the quote above: Manufacturing, and Education and Health services.
What can we assess here? Under the last few months of the Doyle budget, Education and Health service jobs increased by nearly 8,000 jobs in 2011. During the next 6 months -- under Walker's budget -- that slowed to just under 2,000 jobs added, signaling a slower rate in growth within that sector.
In manufacturing, the end result was even worse: in the first six months (under Doyle's budget), there were 11,200 jobs gained. But in the last six months (Walker's budget), there was actually a loss in jobs within manufacturing, with nearly 6,000 jobs disappearing from that category.
A slowed rate of growth and a net loss in jobs...and these are the things the Walker administration is bragging about?
There is one more aspect of the job data that isn't getting as much attention. In total, the state lost about 1,700 jobs. But 3,900 jobs were lost in the private sector alone. Why is the net lower than the private sector losses? The answer: there was a growth of 2,200 public sector jobs, a category which has actually seen months of decline over the course of the last year (more than 10,000 public sector jobs were eliminated in 2011). As much as Walker would hate to admit it, the modest growth in public sector jobs probably made the headlines less harsh than they could have been.
The Walker administration continues to brag about the net gains from 2011. But those gains didn't occur while the governor's budget was in operation -- they occurred under the previous governor's budget. From the time that Walker's budget became law, however, Wisconsin has seen tens of thousands of jobs disappear.
In short, the reforms for job growth that Walker has implemented thus far aren't working at all. It's proof once again that under Scott Walker's leadership, "it's not working" after all.