Report Examines Wisconsin’s 33,000 “Missing Jobs”

Monday, September 2, 2013 at 10:20 AM by

The State of Working Wisconsin: Update 2013

A Labor Day tradition is that the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) either rewrites or updates their comprehensive biennial report called the State of Working Wisconsin, which provides a thorough examination of Wisconsin job numbers, wages, poverty, and job quality.  This year COWS released a five-page update that you can find here

The short report explains that the gradual rebound in jobs following the Great Recession has been much slower than previous recoveries, and Wisconsin’s job growth is well behind the weak national recovery.  COWS’ analysis found that “Wisconsin would have 33,000 more jobs today if we’d only kept on pace with the national recovery” (which would add one-third more to the increase of 99,000 jobs since the Wisconsin economy began to recover in Feb. 2010).  They note that although employment growth began to accelerate in the rest of the Midwest in 2012, Wisconsin’s recovery “seems stuck in a lower gear.” 

The COWS report examines job trends in Wisconsin by sector to determine where the “missing jobs” are.  The good news is that Wisconsin’s manufacturing jobs have rebounded at a considerably faster pace than the national rate (accounting for more than a third of the state’s job growth during the period in question: Feb. 2010 to June 2013).  And although our public sector lost 6,900 jobs, it fell by about 4,500 fewer jobs than if it had declined at the national rate – which is probably attributable to the fact that our state has far fewer federal employees and therefore is less affected by the federal cutbacks.  

The sectors that account for the “missing jobs” are primarily retail trade, transportation and utilities, health care and social assistance, and construction. 

Read more in the State of Working Wisconsin Update 2013

Jon Peacock

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