Job Growth in Wisconsin Virtually Non-Existent since Recession

Monday, August 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM by

Wisconsin Has 5th Lowest Percentage Growth Since November 2009

In contrast to many other states. Wisconsin has added very few jobs since the recession, according to new figures released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wisconsin added only 3,200 jobs between November 2009, when the number of jobs in Wisconsin fell to a record low, and July 2012. That increase averages out to a paltry gain of 100 jobs a month, during a time when the national economy has added about 125,000 jobs per month. 

Wisconsin did add jobs at a moderate rate immediately after the recession, but those gains have been wiped out by recent losses, as shown in the chart below. Wisconsin lost 21,900 jobs between July 2011 and July 2012, more than any other state. Wisconsin lost 6,500 jobs between June and July 2012 alone.

Most other states have been recovering more rapidly. Looking at total non-farm jobs, Wisconsin has gained just 3,200 since November 2009 (0.1 percent), while the national economy gained more than 3.75 million jobs (2.9 percent).   All but six other states gained more jobs than Wisconsin during that period, and only four other states had smaller percentage gains.

In July 2012, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate marked its largest month-to-month increase in over three years, jumping from 7.0 percent in June to 7.3 percent in July 2012. July 2012 marked the third month in a row that the unemployment rate has increased in Wisconsin. The July 2012 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are preliminary and will be revised next month.

The employment picture in Wisconsin, as illustrated by the Bureau of Labor Statistic figures, has been unrelentingly grim in recent months. But other figures show Wisconsin may be adding jobs at a modest rate. Governor Walker’s administration released figures from a different source, endorsed by many economists, showing that Wisconsin had added 28,100 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012. Comparisons with other states during that time period are not yet available; the last time state-by-state figures for this second source of employment figures were released, they showed that Wisconsin was creating jobs at a rate half the national average.

Tamarine Cornelius

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