Graphs show that Wisconsin is worse off on job creation under conservative governor's leadershipLast week, I published a post regarding my sentiments on the recently released January jobs report. I noted that, even though the first month produced a great deal of jobs, it still wasn't enough to overcome the devastating first year of Gov. Scott Walker's term in office.
The visual evidence provides a clearer picture of what a torrential year it truly was:
It was feared that Walker had had six months of losses, totaling more than 35,000 jobs disappearing in that time. But the revised numbers show that the state suffered much worse under Walker than was previously thought, adding another month of losses (for a total of seven) and 40,100 jobs gone.
The months of net gains were notably diminished from earlier estimates as well. In fact, the total from the five months where there were net job increases totaled 19,500 jobs -- or less than half the total losses in the other seven months. The result is a net loss of 20,600 jobs for 2011.
As the graph directly above demonstrates, under the two budgets that were in effect last year -- the tail end of Gov. Jim Doyle's budget and the start of Gov. Scott Walker's -- more jobs were lost under the new governor's budget than his predecessor's. In fact, the first half of 2011 (Doyle's budget) saw a net gain of 2,100 jobs. The second half (Walker's budget) saw a net loss of 22,700 jobs.
More than 72 percent of job gains from last year came under the Doyle budget, while more than 70 percent of job losses came under Walker's.
There's even reason to ponder whether losses that WERE seen last year during the Doyle-half were due to flaws in that budget or because of Walker's supposed reforms. The following graph shows two major events from 2011 as they relate to the overall jobs picture (from two graphs above):
After March, there's a significant dip in the total number of non-farm jobs in the state. Causation and correlation are two separate items, and should be observed cautiously...but it is interesting to see that the dip occurs at the exact point when Act 10 is passed by the Republican legislature and signed into law by Walker.
Also worth noting is a deeper dip corresponding around the time Walker's budget passed. As mentioned before, it was under Walker's budget that most of the job losses we saw in the state occurred, and the graph above demonstrates that further.
Admittedly, we're only taking a look at Walkers performances in 2011. His 2012 performance has had a great start (12,500 jobs gained in January). But even those numbers can't put the governor's job totals in the black: from December of 2010 (Doyle's last month in office) to January of this year, Walker's net jobs total is -8,100. It's worse when you look at his budget alone: from July 2011 (first month of the Walker budget) to January, the governor's net total is -10,200. Both figures include the gains made two months ago.
In the end, you can simplify the jobs situation in Wisconsin as this: under Walker, we've gone backwards. Wisconsin is hurting, and Scott Walker, it seems, is not the cure he claimed to be on the campaign trail.