Sharper decline of unemployment occurred under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle
Scott Walker made a powerful tweet this morning, alleging that his administration was responsible for a substantial drop in unemployment.
Except, there’s one glaring problem. Take a closer look at the tweet:
Walker states that unemployment “peaked” at 9.2 percent “before we took office.” It then ignores the fact that A WHOLE YEAR PASSED BY before he assumed the governorship. That's a slight of hand that Walker is hoping you don't notice.The unemployment rate in WI peaked at 9.2% before we took office. Now it is 3.2%.— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) May 22, 2017
In those 18 months, the unemployment rate sank to 7.8 percent. That’s an unemployment rate drop of 1.4 percent over 18 months, or about a 0.078 rate drop per month.
So what? That sure doesn't sound like a lot, right? Well, let’s take a look at Walker's performance, from July 2011 until the most recent unemployment rate report, which as Walker states is 3.2 percent. That rate was achieved after 70 months of Walker's first budget.
That amounts to a 0.046 percent rate drop per month — effectively an average monthly drop in unemployment that is 41 percent slower than his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle’s results.
We should be happy that unemployment is down, and I’m not trying to suggest a low unemployment rate is bad. But Walker is using hand-waving to make his outcome look better than it actually is.
In reality, we had a sharper drop in unemployment under his Democratic predecessor. That's something you won't read in any news release this week about jobs in Wisconsin.
Data for unemployment rates obtained at BLS.gov