Scott Walker has found plenty of other people and circumstances to point the finger at for Wisconsin's poor jobs' performance and lack of progress towards his twin campaign promises: 250,000 new private sector jobs and 10,000 new businesses by January, 2015.
1. The recall election:
Governor Scott Walker says Wisconsin's contentious recall elections are to blame for Wisconsin ranking 42nd in the nation in job growth.2. And, specifically, protestors:
In March, April and May, people can remember what was happening, thank goodness it’s passed now, you can remember what was happening last Spring in our state’s Capitol. There was a lot of uncertainty, particularly for small businesses, I know having held listening sessions all around this state, small business owners more than anything want certainty, they didn’t see that around the Capitol last year so that was one of the biggest challenges out there.3. Jim Doyle - - though a look behind the numbers tells a more complete story:
Claim: "In the three years before I was elected, Wisconsin lost 150,000 jobs."
This is accurate based on official figures at the time of the ad. There are a couple important notes, though.
One: the trend was not three straight years of losses.
In 2008 and 2009, amid and immediately after the Great Recession, net job losses totalled 164,000, a drop of 5.7 percent. But in 2010, the year before Walker took office, the state’s economy slowly began adding jobs (+12,000 jobs, up 0.4 percent) under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.
By comparison, in 2011, Walker’s first year, 3,200 overall jobs were added (+ 0.1 percent).
That’s all according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics figures at the time Walker released his ad.
Revised employment figures for 2010 and 2011 came out on March 8, after the ad was up.
They change a lot of the relevant math. They show Wisconsin actually lost 21,000 public and private jobs in Walker’s first year.
For the comparison in his ad, Walker uses figures that include government jobs as well as private-sector employment. By contrast, for his promise to create 250,000 jobs in four years, Walker uses only private sector tallies.
Looking at private sector only, and the figures available when Walker did his ad, Wisconsin added 13,500 jobs in Walker’s first year, with gains the first six months and losses the last six.4. Data he didn't like (but once did):
But the revised figures show a different trend: the loss of 9,700 private sector jobs in 2011.
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:5. Federal fiscal cliff issues:
"When I look at tax increases . . . taking more money out of the economy and putting it in the hands of the government, to me just does not seem like a productive way of fueling more economic growth, it seems like a way of slowing it down."6. Obamacare:
"When job creators and Wisconsin families are facing difficult times it doesn’t make sense to commit to a federal health care mandate that will result in hidden taxes for Wisconsin’s families, increased health care costs and insurance premiums, and more uncertainty in the private sector."7. Government:
“We understand, it’s not the government that creates jobs; it’s the people who create jobs. The best thing we can do is get government out of the way,” Walker told the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in Springfield last week.8. Which gets us back to Walker, his austerity policies and budget, some say.