If Wisconsin residents are confused about whether the state is winning or losing when it comes to job creation, they should be forgiven.
That’s because conflicting political factions are spinning the numbers to fit their agendas, and the truth is somewhere in between.
Recent statistics compiled by the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics prompted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to release the following statement: “The actual jobs data show Wisconsin’s economy continues to move forward and create jobs. This jobs data lags by about six months, so it is important to look at all economic indicators to fully understand Wisconsin’s economic performance. During the last six months, Wisconsin’s economy saw the strongest job growth we’ve seen since 1997. Our unemployment rate is down to 6.5 percent, the lowest since 2008 and lower than the national rate, new business formations are up, housing permits are up, and tax revenue collections are up 8.4 percent over the last fiscal year. All of these and more point to a stronger Wisconsin, and more people are going back to work as businesses expand and create more jobs.”
Not so fast, said the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which pointed out that Wisconsin fell to 37th among the states in job growth over the past year, creating just 23,963 jobs.
“Scott Walker cannot be taken seriously when it comes to job growth and economic recovery,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said. “Instead of solutions, Walker simply offers excuses and doubles down on the same failed policies that imperiled the economic security of the middle-class in the first place. It’s way past time for Scott Walker to accept responsibility for why Wisconsin continues to lag our neighbors in the Midwest and most of the rest of the nation when it comes to job creation.”