Unverified numbers don’t fit governor’s “gold standard”Gov. Scott Walker authored an op-ed this week in which he explained the "Wisconsin Comeback" was still going strong.
His claims were also unfounded, based on scant evidence and jobs numbers that weren’t verified.
So forgive me if I seem skeptical, because once again Walker is touting numbers that are unverified to claim there is a comeback.
Requiring that jobs numbers be verified isn’t my standard -- Walker himself created the rules by which we can criticize his jobs numbers in the weeks prior to his recall election.
While it is understandable that jobs estimates are often discussed when they are released, because they are the most recent job statistic, the actual job count data [quarterly report] is the gold standard of jobs measurement.Yet Gov. Walker’s op-ed this week doesn’t tout the quarterly report -- it talks about the monthly jobs estimates that he was once critical of.
But perhaps I’m being too harsh. After all, Walker is citing some pretty impressive stats, including being “No. 1 in the Midwest for job growth from February to March” and having “the best 12 months of job growth since 2004.”
On that second point, however, I’ve already pointed out that Walker made a similar claim to that in the past -- and that the claim came up way short once the jobs numbers went through the verification process. Walker provides no reason why we should believe these newer numbers should be any different.
And on being number one in the Midwest, Walker also made a claim just like that in 2014 during his re-election campaign against Mary Burke. After the numbers were verified, however, it turned out he was completely wrong.
Walker said we were third in the Midwest back then in jobs created from July 2013 to July 2014. But once again, when the numbers went through the verification process they didn’t hold true.
In fact, using numbers from the second quarter jobs report in 2014, we see that we weren’t third in the Midwest as Walker said we were -- instead, we were dead last in jobs creation in the region.
But by then, of course, the damage was done -- the verified jobs report came out one month after Walker had already won re-election, in no small part to that ad campaign that claimed there was a “Wisconsin Comeback.”
That comeback was a false description of what actually happened. And there’s every reason to believe that Walker’s most recent claims about a “Wisconsin Comeback” are similarly disingenuous.