Monday, July 23, 2012

Wisconsin loses 13,200 jobs -- is it working yet?

June jobs numbers show us once more that Walker's "reforms" fail to spur growth

Wisconsin's June job numbers were released last week (PDF), and the results are strikingly dismal.

According to preliminary numbers, the state lost more than 13,200 jobs last month, of which more than 11,700 came from the private sector. The losses are the worst in the nation for the month of June.

In all, from the start of the year to present date, Wisconsin has seen a net total of 3,100 jobs created. And while an overall positive growth is good, it's hardly a drop in the bucket when compared to last year's gains of more than 19,000 jobs. If 2012 keeps this pace up, we'll gain only a third of 2011's numbers, most of which came during a different governor's budget.

In fact, by the current governor's own numbers, 2012's "gains" merely lessen the blow of the first six months of his own budget. Scott Walker gave tax breaks to the rich and burdened the poor. As a result, the average Wisconsinite's purchasing power went down, resulting in less demand, and thus, less jobs.

The first half of 2011 (again, using Walker's own numbers) produced more than 40,000 jobs. But remember: that was under the previous administration's budget. The second six months of that year, when Walker's budget and reforms were implemented, saw a loss of more than 24,000 jobs. The 3,100 jobs added in the first six months of this year aren't enough to make up for those losses.

At the rate 2012 is going, it will take about 47 months (just under four years) simply to recoup the losses incurred by the second half of 2011.

And don't even ask about Walker's 250,000 jobs pledge, which he promised to accomplish in his first term of office. Even if we're generous, and count all of 2011's gains in his column, it will take another 180 months (15 more years) to reach that goal, going at the current pace over the past 18 months.

It's looking more and more likely that Wisconsin's biggest political regret will be that we didn't recall Gov. Walker when we had the chance to do so last month.

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