Private sector adds 10,100 jobs in Walker’s first month

During January, Gov. Scott Walker’s first month in office, the private sector added 10,100 jobs in Wisconsin, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a new report from the state Department of Workforce Development.

The state lost 3,900 government jobs during the month, so the total job gain for the state was 6,200 jobs in January, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The state’s total nonfarm employment was 2,742,500 in January, an increase of 37,400 from a year ago. The state had 2,327,300 private sector jobs in January, up 47,500 from a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The state had 415,200 government jobs in January, down 10,100 from a year ago.

The state’s unemployment rate dipped to 7.4 percent in January, down from 7.5 percent in December. The national unemployment rate recently dipped to 8.9 percent, falling below 9 percent for the first time in nearly two years.

Walker has repeatedly pledged to enact policies that will help the private sector create 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term in office. The state had 2,317,200 private sector jobs in December, before Walker was sworn in. So to meet Walker’s goal, the state must have 2,567,200 private sector jobs at the end of his first term.

Once he was sworn in to office Walker pushed for, and received, legislative approval for several business-friendly initiatives including: a tax exemption for health savings accounts, a tax cut for businesses that create jobs and a two year tax exemption for businesses that move to the state and tort reform.

Although the new jobs initiatives have yet to take affect, the January job growth numbers still provide progress towards Walker’s job creation goal.

“The number one goal of my administration is to get government out of the way so that the private sector can create 250,000 jobs by 2015,” Walker said. “Adding over 10,000 private sector jobs in January shows that Wisconsin is on the right track toward fulfilling that important goal. While these numbers are encouraging, there is still important work ahead. Our special session on job creation coupled with our continuing efforts to improve Wisconsin’s business climate sends a strong message to the global marketplace that Wisconsin is open for business.”

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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