After two months of job gains, I had a feeling the latest job numbers delivered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) wouldn’t be good. The monthly figures are compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) but Wisconsin’s numbers are often released ahead of time by DWD Secretary Reggie Newson. The better the numbers, the sooner Secretary Newson tends to release them.
Not so this month. The BLS is due to release March, 2012 data for all the states tomorrow. As the days came and went with no early release by the DWD, It was pretty clear we were in for bad news, and here it is:
After two months of job gains, Wisconsin lost 4,300 private sector jobs in March, 4,500 jobs overall.
Wisconsin experienced a net loss of 20,600 non-farm jobs in 2011, but had made some gains in January and February. With the new March figures, and with revised figures from January and February, the Scott Walker administration can now boast that there are 9,800 fewer jobs in Wisconsin than there were when Walker took office.
I would encourage everyone to read the DWD press release issued today, just for laughs. While there is nothing funny about a struggling economy shedding jobs, the carefully-phrased way in which Secretary Newson applies lipstick to the pig that is the Walker jobs record is nonetheless quite entertaining. He highlights the unemployment rate, which dropped slightly to 6.8%, but if the state is losing jobs at the same time the unemployment rate is dropping, it means people have moved out of state, or retired, or found work in border states like Illinois or Minnesota while still residing in Wisconsin, or have stopped looking for work.
Then there’s this…
A total nonfarm decline of 10,200 since December 2010 is entirely due to a drop in government jobs over this time frame.
Cuz, you know, those government jobs weren’t staffed by real people, so they don’t count.
Scott Walker’s pre-emptive tweets today are even funnier…
WI private sector jobs up 15,600 since start of 2012; unemployment rate down to 6.8% (lowest its been since 2008)
Strong job creation predicted by WI employers: 87% say they’ll add jobs in 2012
Put simply: If the economy is losing jobs, it is not recovering, no matter how one plays with the statistics, and no matter how many employers want to add jobs in the future.