Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wisconsin under Walker ranks 40th out of 50 states on jobs since September 2011

State continues to struggle, lags behind border states and nation since Walker took office

Earlier this month the Walker administration released its estimates (PDF) for total jobs created in the state from September 2014 to September 2015.

At the time they released it, it was unclear how Wisconsin did compared to the rest of the nation. The early report couldn’t be compared to other states until the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its full findings, and so we could only look at the how the state did compared to its previous yearly reports.

I assessed that outcome and came to the conclusion that Wisconsin was (still) experiencing a slowdown under Scott Walker. In fact, the best year of the past five third quarter reports came when Walker’s predecessor Gov. Jim Doyle’s final year of his last budget was in play for nine of the twelve months included.

The state has failed to reproduce those numbers since that time.

Today, the BLS released the national numbers. Wisconsin didn’t fare too well as compared to the rest of the country in private sector jobs -- and what’s more, its numbers were revised lower from what the Walker administration had said they were previously.

When the Department of Workforce Development initially announced its third quarter 2015 numbers it had said the state grew about 30,235 year-to-year. That number has now been revised down to about 29,616 jobs created, a modest decrease.

Those numbers may sound impressive, but when compared to the rest of the nation we’re well below average. Wisconsin ranks 36th out of the 50 U.S. states when it comes to jobs growth from September 2014 to September 2015.

The situation is even more dire when you compare how we’ve done over the totality of Walker’s tenure in office. From September 2011 to September 2015 -- years where Walker’s budget, and no one else’s, was in operation -- Wisconsin saw a 5.057 percent increase in the rate of jobs grown.

That’s worse than any other state that borders us -- and puts us at 40th overall in the nation when it comes to jobs growth since September 2011.

Data derived from

Data derived from

There is definitely an improvement in our jobs situation from years ago. But the recovery that began under the previous governor’s watch has since rescinded, and under Walker has slowed down significantly. We’re creating jobs at a rate that’s 28 percent slower under this current governor than it was under Doyle’s last budget year.

The “Wisconsin Comeback” that Scott Walker frequently touts is a myth. The policies that Walker put as a priority -- tax breaks for the rich and corporate elite, cuts in tax credits for the poor, and creating less economic opportunities for the working class -- have created a “Wisconsin Slowdown.”


  1. Unfortunately the Walker voters who thinks he walks on water will ignore these numbers. Those of us that understand facts will shake our heads (again) at what fools they are.

  2. Wow, just took a look. Sept 2011 2,322,477 working folks (private sector). Sept 2015 2,439,934. That's 117,457. What? Where's my 250K? At this rate he won't even hit that number at the end of his second term. Why are people SO blind!

  3. And lastly: It is also somewhat interesting that we stand 20th in wage growth over that same time. And that looks positive, sort of. Until you realize that IA, MN, and IL are all in the top 12 beating us by 1.1% to 2.3%. Even MI is just a few spots behind us. It's not working.