The Journal Sentinel devotes considerable space, words and graphics Thursday to clarify the state's job picture; many key numbers the newspaper presents work to the Democrats' advantage as the Walker recall election looms and his pledge to create 250,000 private sector jobs in four years looks unrealistic and unattainable.
I've pulled out below many of the fundamental paragraphs - - the entire piece is an important read - - and just in case you have to run the kids to school or your morning meetings are beginning - - make sure you at least see this talk-radio narrative busting line that is sure to ruin any number of Republicans' breakfasts:
According to the revised figures, Wisconsin added almost 30,000 private-sector jobs in Doyle’s final year in office, then lost almost 10,000 during Walker’s first year.More from the story, by Washington Bureau Chief Craig Gilbert:
* Total Jobs. In Gov. Walker’s first 13 months (using December 2010 as the baseline), the state lost 8,500 non-farm jobs. That was worst among the 50 states.
* Government jobs. Wisconsin shed 14,500 public-sector jobs during Walker’s first thirteen months. That was the fifth-biggest decrease among 50 states in terms of total jobs lost, and the second biggest decrease in percentage terms (3.5%) after Texas.
* Private-sector jobs. In Walker’s first year in office (ending last December), Wisconsin had the 49th worst record for private-sector job growth, losing 9,700 jobs. But preliminary January numbers released last week were the best of any month so far of the Walker tenure: private-sector jobs rose by 15,700. That now puts the state in the positive column for net private job growth during the governor’s first 13 months, with 6,000 jobs added.
Still, it’s a long way from the governor’s campaign promise of 250,000 new private-sector jobs during his first term. It also places the state 36th among the 50 states in private-sector job growth since Walker took office (using December 2010 as the baseline), well below Wisconsin’s closest midwestern neighbors.
* Wisconsin’s performance compared to the nation. The state has lagged substantially behind the national pace in private-sector job growth...
* Walker vs. Doyle. The governor and his supporters say he has reversed a trend of sharp job losses under his predecessor, Democrat Jim Doyle, citing a decline of more than 140,000 jobs that occurred in Wisconsin during Doyle’s last three years.
Walker’s critics counter that those lost jobs were part of a nationwide financial meltdown that generated heavy employment losses across the country.
Walker is correct in saying his job numbers to date (an increase of 6,000 private-sector jobs) are much better than Doyle’s second-term numbers (a decrease of 137,000 private-sector jobs over four years).
But the governor’s assertion in his current TV ads that “we leveled things off” after the large job declines under Doyle comes with a big asterisk. The post-meltdown job trend in Wisconsin had already shifted from decline to growth many months before Walker took office.
According to the revised figures, Wisconsin added almost 30,000 private-sector jobs in Doyle’s final year in office, then lost almost 10,000 during Walker’s first year.