Monday, December 28, 2015

Walker's performance during economic recovery is at a slower pace than Doyle's

Journal Sentinel editorial board isn't impressed with current gov's performance

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which in 2010 had endorsed then-candidate for governor Scott Walker, isn’t impressed with his current spin -- especially when it comes to jobs.

“Gov. Scott Walker can't avoid the latest bad news on jobs in Wisconsin,” the editorial board writes. “A new government report shows that our state ranked 32nd in private-sector job growth among the 50 states in the five-year period that ended in June. That's the entire recovery period since the last recession.”

Although they don’t blame Walker entirely for the sluggish Wisconsin economy, they do take him to task for his failed campaign promise made more than five years ago. “Certainly, Walker should own his record -- he did make the brave claim in 2010 that the state would grow 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term.”

Ranking 32nd since the recovery began is indeed bad news. But it’s even worse when you isolate Walker’s performance from that of his predecessor, former Gov. Jim Doyle.

The recovery began under Doyle’s watch, after all. And the final budget under Doyle ended in June of 2011 -- six months into Walker’s term.

At that time, Wisconsin had gained 39,909 new jobs, and new jobs growth was at 1.8 percent year-to-year.

We have yet to replicate those results under Walker’s watch.

You heard that right: Walker has yet to do better than Doyle on year-to-year jobs growth in second quarter jobs reports.

All data derived from Blue is Gov. Jim Doyle's
final budget year; red is Gov. Scott Walker's years in office.
Walker’s performance over the four years when his budgets were in place average out at around 33,275 jobs per year -- a pace that is 16 percent slower than Gov. Doyle’s last budget year.

When you look at his performance compared to the nation, it’s worse than what the Journal Sentinel describes: Wisconsin under Walker is ranked 37th overall, from the start of his first budget to the second quarter this year.

The Journal Sentinel is right to call Walker out for failing to create jobs at a rate that he promised. They, like the rest of Wisconsin, are frustrated with the governor’s performance.

It will take a lot to turn the state around. It will likely require a fresh set of ideas, a set that runs counter to Walker’s failed programs.

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