Disappointed that official government data showed his state was the worst in the nation for job creation over the last 12 months, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) decided to release his own numbers today. But even if Walker’s new calculations have merit, he’s nowhere close to the pace necessary to create the 250,000 new jobs he promised in his first four years in office.
Walker had no problem touting the official Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job report last year when it showed that Wisconsin was adding jobs. Now, he has decided to cite a different report that still shows relatively weak job growth, the Wasau Daily Herald reports:
But even these latest figures indicate he is far from achieving that goal. The data compiled by the state Department of Workforce Development show a net gain of 23,300 public and private jobs during 2011, up from the previously reported 33,900 drop. The difference lies in how the numbers were generated.
The new numbers come from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, produced for inclusion in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ national report to be issued on June 28 — more than three weeks after the recall. Those figures are based on actual job counts reported by 160,000 Wisconsin employers as required by law as part of their tax and unemployment insurance reports.
Last month, BLS found that Wisconsin had the “largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment,” losing nearly 1 percent of its jobs from April 2011 to April 2012. Wisconsin was one of only four states to lose jobs over that period.
That hampered Walker’s message — targeted at voters who will choose whether to retain him as their governor in three weeks — that his union-busting, corporate tax-cutting, budget-slashing policies have helped the state’s economy rebound. So instead, Walker decided to use numbers that, according to Wisconsin’s own Department of Workforce Development, are “estimations based on surveys and do not represent a census of jobs, per se.”