Your Views: Don’t let Walker’s numbers deceive you

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Gov. Walker repeatedly touts Wisconsin’s unemployment rate of 3.4 percent as evidence that his policies are working. However, Bureau of Labor Statistics data cast a dark shadow on the governor’s statements.

When the numbers of those who have given up looking for a job, are only working part-time or are employed in jobs below their skill level are included, a rate of 7.7 percent results. Employment growth since Walker took office has lagged behind the nation as a whole.

Wages and salaries in Wisconsin likewise are trending below the national average while the share of income going to the top 10 percent, is increasing. As one might suspect, the poverty rate in Wisconsin is growing.

Even with a low unemployment rate, the proportion of people fully employed is leveling off, meaning that people are not moving to Wisconsin seeking Walker’s reports of robust economic opportunity. The reality in Wisconsin is that job growth is modest, wages are lagging for the working class and those at the top are doing far better than the typical working class Wisconsinite.

When generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are use to determine the state’s financial picture, Wisconsin is $1.7 billion in the red. GAAP deficits per person place Wisconsin second worst in the nation, with Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota having surpluses.

Walker promised 250,000 jobs and an economy “taking off like a rocket ship!” The jobs have not materialized, and the rocket ship sits on the pad.




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