Friday, May 17, 2013

Republicans Celebrate Governor Doyle's Job Numbers

On Thursday, Scott Walker and the Republicans and the corporate media were celebrating the job numbers that came out:
Wisconsin gained 62,072 private-sector jobs between December 2010 and December 2012, the state Department of Workforce Development said Thursday. 
The count, based on a set of employment data considered to be the most reliable, had Republicans applauding the performance of Gov. Scott Walker.
My own gerrymandered state representative, Mike Kuglitsch, whose only claims to fame are running a bowling alley in the middle of nowhere and being a good little Teapublican, had this to say:
Earlier this week, the United States Department of labor released its quarterly jobs numbers. The report showed that Wisconsin has gained over 60,000 jobs since Governor Scott Walker took office in 2011. This is a major step in the right direction as Wisconsin lost nearly 134,000 jobs under Governor Jim Doyle's last session. 
We have seen increased revenue projections and Wisconsin is really starting to it turn around. Our state was recently rated the 17th best state to do business in, which is up three spots from last year. I happy to see our reforms working and the thought of constant job loss is a thing of the past. 
Although this report is positive, there is still much work to be done. We must ensure that Wisconsinites keep as much as their hard earned money in their pockets, while expanding a workforce that can continue to put Wisconsin on the forefront of economic development.
All I can say is that I hope they didn't break out the expensive bubbly and I hope they all sent former Governor Jim Doyle a big thank you card.

The spin they are trying to put on this is as utterly ridiculous as when the MacIver Institute (for the Criminally Insane) tried to tell us that Walker had surpassed the halfway point to his 250,000 job creation promise.

To understand what I am getting at, look at the first half of the first sentence I cited above:
Wisconsin gained 62,072 private-sector jobs between December 2010 and December 2012...
Walker wasn't even sworn into office until January 2011, so already they are using a month of data from the Doyle era.

Secondly, look at the actual job numbers for all of 2011:

As the gentle reader can plainly see, job growth was indeed growing at a healthy clip during the first six months of Walker's term.  But this was all before Walker's policies and budget were in place or had a chance to take effect.

The job growth during the time that Doyle's budget and policies were still in effect is around 30,000 jobs - about half of the total Walker is claiming to have created.

Or to put it in other words, it's taken Walker three times as long to create the same amount of jobs that Doyle did in the last six months that his budget and policies were in place.

Even if one were so gullible as to take the Republican's claims at face value, when Wisconsin's jobs numbers are compared to the rest of the Midwest or the rest of the country, the growing job growth gap is horribly depressing:

As the gentle reader will note, the gap really started growing as first Act 10 kicked in and then exploded again as Walker's first budget took effect.

It should also be noted that the numbers that Walker and the Republicans are including do not include the more than 10,000 public sector jobs lost during this period.

Once you figure in the public sector job loss and take out the jobs that Governor Doyle brought in, that leaves the Republicans touting about 20,000 to 25,000 job gain in an 18 month time period.  That number is worse than what they projected if Walker and his Republican cronies had done nothing.

This horrifically poor job growth and the further lagging behind our neighbors are what the Republicans are celebrating.

Ah, but with this lot of miscreants, the one thing we should always remember is that there is more.  There is always more.

The reason that the Republicans are trying to force their spin on the job numbers so much is that the real news is even much worse:

But the numbers, while showing growth, leave Walker well behind pace on fulfilling his much-discussed promise to create 250,000 private-sector jobs during his four-year term. 
And another set of employment data - this one preliminary and subject to revision - showed Wisconsin losing an estimated 22,600 private-sector jobs during April of this year.
I can see why Walker and his allies are trying to draw the public's eye away from these numbers.  The only thing with a higher loss number would be the hairs on top of Walker's head.

In summary, the truth of the matter is that Walker cannot claim to have created 62,000 jobs in two years.  He actually could take credit for only half of that number and then it still took him 18 months to do even that little.  Even worse, that paltry number is grossly inflated if one only considers family-supporting jobs.

When all the true data is considered, Walker is much shorter of his promise than even what their spin would have us believe.

Instead of celebrating and bragging about these numbers, the Republicans should be groveling and begging for our forgiveness.

1 comment:

  1. You are quite correct that an important key in looking at the job growth (or lack of job growth) of any state is to compare the number of jobs added or lost as a percent to the number of jobs added or lost as a percent in the U.S. as a whole.

    The U.S. has gained at least 5 million jobs, or 3.8% since Walker took office in January 2011. In Wisconsin under Walker, including the latest dismal April numbers, the gain has been 36,300 jobs, or an increase of 1.3%. 3.8% in the US overall since January 2011; 1.3% in Wisconsin. Actually a difference of 2.5%.

    You also need to account for seasonal variations, which is why the chart above, showing job growth in the beginning of 2011 with job loss at the end of 2011 isn't really.... well, correct. ALL states add jobs (in unadjusted numbers) until June, and then drop off in July, then add a bit until November, then drop off in December and make a big drop in January.

    I could rebut and explain that jsonline article line by line, but I don't have the time.

    Here's the thing, however: When looking at jobs numbers, you need to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.. and , even more important, you need to know whether you are looking at a bucket of apples or a bucket of oranges.