Showing that last month's jobs numbers wasn't just a pre-election fluke or lie from President Barack Obama, the nation's unemployment number is continuing to drop:
Initial jobless claims sank by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000 in the week ended Dec. 1, the U.S. Labor Department said today. Claims from two weeks ago were revised upward to 395,000 from an initial estimate of 393,000.Well, most of the nation is getting better anyway.
The claims data came out one day before the government reports how many new U.S. jobs were created in November.
Not so much here in Fitzwalkerstan:
Wisconsin has the nation’s largest increase in new applications for unemployment benefits.If it wasn't for Scott Walker's ineptitude, the nation's numbers would be even better. But just like he does here, Walker's just gotta take everyone down.
U.S. labor officials said Thursday that almost 5,900 Wisconsin workers filed benefit applications during the week ending November 24th. That’s more than twice as many as second-place Oregon.
Wisconsin did not tell the federal government why so many more residents filed for unemployment. Oregon said its increase was due to the holidays and winter weather.
Keep in mind this continued job loss is after Walker has given hundreds of millions of dollars to his corporate masters. Walker's given so much of our money that we are second only to Michigan, which has the excuse of the car makers:
But Wisconsin, it turns out, is also a paradise for companies seeking handouts, as a groundbreaking story in The New York Times documents. The story's online tracker allows you to check any state, and it shows Wisconsin spends $1.53 billion in taxes per year on incentives for business. That equals 10% of the state's annual budget and costs $268 per person.So much for these being the job creators.
Wisconsin, land of the supposedly bad business climate, ranks ahead of 33 other states and the District of Columbia in per-capita payments to business.
Compared to the states that surround us, only Michigan gives more in corporate handouts. (And as the home of three major American automakers, it is something of a special situation.) Michigan gives $672 per capita to businesses, followed by Wisconsin's $268, well ahead of Indiana ($142), Illinois ($117), Iowa ($73) and Minnesota ($45), the Times data shows. In short, Michigan and Wisconsin make it much tougher for surrounding states to resist calls for corporate welfare.
Even as they have given $80 billion annually to companies, states have slashed public services while raising taxes a collective $156 billion, the Times notes. And that $80 billion is just for state handouts. It doesn't include local giveaways, like the $53 million given to Mercury Marine by Fond du Lac county and city.
And yet, these governments have no idea if these incentives were worth it, "because they rarely track how many jobs are created," the Times story notes. And when they do track it, they admit, "it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid."
Furthermore, the jobs created may later disappear as companies close or move plants. Auto manufacturers have received $13.9 billion in government incentives since 1985, the story notes. Meanwhile, automakers have closed more than 267 American plants since 1979.
The only clear winners here are the stockholders and executives of the companies getting all the goodies. The executives at Brunswick were already paid lucratively, garnering $10.5 million in total compensation in 2009. But after Wisconsin delivered all those incentives and worker givebacks, the rich got richer. Brunswick's executives hauled in $13.4 million in 2010, including $6.6 million for top dog McCoy, and $15.8 million in 2011, with $7.6 million going to McCoy. Yes, Wisconsin's business climate has been blessedly balmy for them.
Walker did keep his word in the sense that Wisconsin is now a very business friendly state. But it is Hell on Earth for the people.