It also seems that both of these numbers were affected by the brutal weather of mid-February (when the employment survey was made). The largest job losses for February were in construction (-31,000), and it seems likely that many lower-wage part-timers had hours reduced due to the weather, which would mean more wages were earned by higher-wage full-time workers.

So while the top lines of 20,000 jobs may make you think “uh oh”, and a 3.4% annual increase in wages may make you think “great!”, I’m not sure either apply here. Both are the opposite of what we saw in the January report, while the average of those 2 months is mostly on line with where we’ve been.

Via Jake’s Wisconsin Funhouse: Feb US jobs decline – to the norm

Weren’t as good  

I told you to look out for the new Wisconsin jobs report today, coming on the heels of the bad performance in the “gold standard” Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages(QCEW) which I discussed in this post.

That’s because the January report would feature revisions based on that QCEW report. And sure enough, that Wisconsin jobs report came out today with sizable downgrades in job growth.

Revisions from previously-reported Dec 2018 Wis jobs figures 
All jobs -17,100
Private sector jobs -13,400
Manufacturing -12,900

Via Jake’s Wisconsin Funhouse: As predicted, Walker job growth and total people working weren’t as good as the year said

Bad Data Concealing Bad Growth 

A couple of weeks back, I noticed that the “gold standard” Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) released the top line numbers, and it showed Wisconsin continuing to stay far behind the US rate of job growth. However, this only covered all jobs and urban areas, so I wanted to see further information with more detail.

Today, the full “gold standard report was released, and as usual, feel free to go to the QCEW map site to break down the data by state and county.

As predicted, Wisconsin’s numbers were bad for the September 2017-September 2018 time period, and were well behind the numbers the Walker Administration were claiming before the November elections.

Via Jake’s Wisconsin Funhouse: Confirmed- Walker Admin overstated Wis’s bad job growth before election.

Bad news comes late

The drop in spending at Christmas shopping season also indicates a worried consumer. However, we did not have January’s spending numbers to see if that continued, which would put Q1 2019 growth in question. Instead, all we had was the January income reports. And what goes up due to one-time factors must go down.

Personal income decreased $23.8 billion (-0.1 percent) in January. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $35.1 billion (-0.2 percent); Real DPI is unavailable for January.

The decrease in personal income in January primarily reflected decreases in personal dividend income, farm proprietors’ income.

Now, it wasnt all bad for January incomes, as wages and salaries were still up a decent 0.3%. But that overall drop makes the February and March reports very big, in seeing whether the overall incone decline or wage increase is the accurate predictor for Q1 2019 growthm.

Via Jake’s Wisconsin Funhouse: The shutdown slowed down news indicating a slowing economy

Still Behind After All These Years

The latest Federal employment figures show Wisconsin to be a regional laggard which actually lost 300 private sector jobs in February, added only a paltry 18,600 private sector jobs in the year from February, 2017 to February, 2018, and is still 20,000 private sector jobs below the 250,000 Walker repeatedly promised in his 2010 and 2012 gubernatorial campaigns to create by January,  2015, the Capital Times reports.

Via The Political Environment: New data show Walker’s continuing Wisconsin jobs’ fail

How bad it’s recently been in Wisconsin

Not that this should surprise you, but it’s not good, as the state has lost serious ground in recent months, losing private sector jobs in each of the last 3 months. Since January 2015, Wisconsin has grown jobs at less than half the rate of the U.S., and is also (yet again) the worst in the Midwest.

Private sector job growth, Jan 2015- Jan 2016
Mich +2.25%
U.S. +2.21%
Iowa +1.73%
Ohio +1.71%
Ind. +1.68%
Minn +1.27%
Ill. +1.10%
Wis. +0.93%

Via Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse: National update shows how bad it’s recently been in Wisconsin.

Still bad 

And adding an average of 2,700 jobs a month in Wisconsin is less than half what we should be adding if we want our job growth to keep up with the rest of the country, and it was even worse in the 6 months before then. This means the Walker jobs growth has blow up wide in since this time last year, getting bigger by more than 32,000 private sector jobs, and reaching over 103,500 jobs during the 5-year reign of error known as the Age of Fitzwalkerstan.

Via Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse: New job benchmarks reiterate same story- Wisconsin staying behind.

Wisconsin Still Far Behind America on Jobs

You may have seen the headlines from the latest release of the “gold standard” jobs report – the BLS’s Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages (QCEW). And as I predicted earlier this week, Wisconsin fared quite poorly.

Wisconsin continues to lag behind much of the nation in creating private sector jobs.

Figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday show the state’s growth rate during the 12 month period that ended in September of last year was 1.2 percent, compared to a national rate during that time period of 2.2 percent.

Wisconsin was listed as 36th among the states for the pace of job creation, adding 29,616 private sector jobs during the reporting period.

36th in the nation is bad enough, and is virtually no different than the 37th place Wisconsin was in for the last QCEW survey, which carried into June 2015. Perhaps just as bad is the fact that we continued to lag most of the Midwest in private sector job growth in this report, ending up 6th out of 7 states.

Via Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse: The “gold standard” shows Wisconsin still well behind our neighbors.

Dead wrong on claim Wisconsin jobs are “picking up steam”

We get to see where Wisconsin matches up with the rest of the country on Wednesday, and if the last report is any indication, there is no reason to think the state isn’t much different than the 37th in the nation status it had 3 months ago. In addition, the Wisconsin DWD’s pre-release of the QCEW [Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages] numbers also indicates that Wisconsin’s month-to-month job totals will also go down when those figures are benchmarked to the QCEW as part of the January 2016 jobs release on Thursday.

Via Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse: J-S is dead wrong in claim Wisconsin jobs are “picking up steam.”

Mass Layoffs

MADISON – In a sign of growing economic turmoil, Gov. Walker’s administration quietly acknowledged over the busy holiday season that Wisconsin surpassed 10,000 layoffs last year as a result of plant closings and economic challenges. The dismal news confirms that 2015 was Wisconsin’s worst year for job losses since Gov. Walker took office – far exceeding the 6,186 workers affected by mass layoffs and plant closings in 2014. The dramatic spike in layoffs have surprised many given the strong economic growth in neighboring Midwestern states.

Via Jennifer Schilling: Layoffs hit new high under Gov. Walker » Urban Milwaukee.


“This indicates the fact that Wisconsin’s drop in inflation-adjusted household income was larger than most of our neighbors. In fact, only the Recession-wrecked state of Michigan had a larger drop over these 5 years than Wisconsin. Change in real median household income, 2005-09 vs 2010-2014 Mich -$4,650 (-8.65%) Wis. -$4,165 (-7.32%) Ill. -$3,767 (-6.18%) Ind.…

About that October jobs “boom” in Wisconsin

I’ve expressed skepticism regarding last week’s report from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development of 16,100 total jobs and 15,100 jobs being added in Wisconsin for October. And we got a follow-up note on that report on Wednesday that also makes me cock an eyebrow, this time in the form of the local jobs and unemployment rate report.

This new DWD report showed the alleged jobs gains in the state were heavily concentrated in only a few areas of the state. Also worth noting is that (for some reason) they can’t give specific seasonally-adjusted numbers for the growing Madison area, because Green County was added for that MSA in the last year….

So let’s see how these figures shake out in the next couple of months, as the seasonal adjustments level out. The large amount of mass layoffs and lower-than-projected revenues seem to belie the numbers that indicate job growth boomed in Wisconsin for October, and I’m very interested in seeing what happens as a large amount of data comes in over the next few weeks to see which direction wins out.

Via October jobs “boom” in Wisconsin not felt in many places @ Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse.

Factory Farm Plan Destroys Residential Home Market

Writes Cain-Carrell in her Facebook page:

This evening I spoke with a Saratoga resident that has their home up for sale. Shortly after listing the home, they received a full price offer. They accepted. The realtor disclosed a little info on the CAFO to the buyer from Illinois and [their] family backed out. Every perspective buyer LOVES the home and feels its 300K + price tag is a fair price … BUT HAVE NO INTEREST IN LIVING NEAR THE PROPOSED GOLDEN SANDS DAIRY. Wysocki Companies, you have no right to hold our community hostage!!! GO AWAY & STAY AWAY.

Via Proposed Industrialized Farm Kills $300,000 Home Sale in Wood County @ MAL Contends . . .

Economic Development Sessions

The Republicans in the Legislature are having a series of “Economic Development Committee listening sessions” around the state with various captains of industry invited to speak their opinions on how to improve Wisconsin economic performance and attractiveness. Of course, representatives of labor aren’t being invited to these meetings, but a lot of people connected to the scandal-plagued Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) are, which gives you an idea that much of these meetings have a GOP propaganda element intended to make the state’s underperforming economy seem better than it really is….

Via Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse: So how do you grow business in Wisconsin?

After fleeing WEDC…

“This is the same Lisa Johnson who used to be WEDC’s VP of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and looked at Wisconsin’s January 2013 rank of 47th for entrepreneurship and famously said “We suck, we’re bad.” She then left WEDC 6 months ago to take her current job at BioForward, which makes me wonder what she saw…