Editor's note: This story was corrected from an earlier version that contained an inaccurate description of the specific BLS numbers cited by MacIver.

While the conservative MacIver Institute is out with a statistically flawed claim that Gov. Scott Walker is more than halfway to reaching his 250,000 new jobs pledge, revisions to federal employment numbers do show a dramatic improvement in Wisconsin.

MacIver in a press release this week claimed that Wisconsin has added over 137,000 new private sector jobs since Walker took office in January 2011. But economists say that figure was wrongly derived by comparing two separate economic reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The CEW or Census of Employment and Wages figures cited by MacIver are from January 2011 and September 2012, showing a difference of 137,372. But economists say it's inaccurate to compare two different months because the figures are not seasonally adjusted.

In this case, a September CEW employment figure would also include summer seasonal jobs in construction and tourism.

“No legitimate analysis of job growth can be done by comparing two different months of the CEW,” says Laura Dresser, an economist at UW-Madison’s liberal Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS). "You could compare January to January or September to September but not January to September."

Comparing September 2010 to September 2012 using the CEW numbers cited by MacIver shows Wisconsin with 61,940 more private sector jobs over that two-year period.

State economist John Koskinen of the Department of Revenue also told MacIver that its reading of the numbers was skewed. But he did note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been badly underestimating the state’s employment picture.

To that end, Wisconsin added 12,000 jobs in February, with estimates of jobs added in January revised upward by 9,000, according to the latest report from the BLS. At the same time, the agency also revised population growth downward for Wisconsin.

Those revisions leave Wisconsin with a “jobs deficit” of 156,300, which Dresser calls “a remarkable change” from her organization's last estimate of 245,000 — and a big step in the right direction for the state’s economy. The jobs deficit is a COWS estimate of the number of jobs need to replace all those lost since the recession began in December 2007, combined with increases in population over that time.

“In short, the new estimates show more jobs and fewer people, meaning a smaller jobs deficit,” says Dresser.

UW economist Menzie Chinn has also been weighing in on the latest BLS numbers in his popular “Econobrowser” blog, where he makes the point that despite the revisions, Wisconsin is still lagging other states in job creation.

So how close is Walker to his pledge to create 250,000 jobs? Using the latest CES, the most current numbers available, Wisconsin has 64,500 more jobs in February 2013 than it did in January 2011.

The Capital Times maintains a database on our website in which we track the BLS figures. 

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(74) comments

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Cornelius Gotchberg
Cornelius Gotchberg

@spooky tooth;

You don't say; is that a fact?

"A good laugh is better than a pill." Anon

The Gotch

abby
abby

Like any business the state manipulates numbers to there liking, but all facts still show more jobs have been lost in this state since Walker came in then they have been created.

Lionhear
Lionhear

@abby--prove it or be called a liar.

Stuck In The Middle With You
Stuck In The Middle With You

One would think that companies in Illinois would be relocating in droves to Walkers promised land in Wisconsin but I can only recall one or two that actually have come here supposedly because of Walker but who could name them?

196ski
196ski

Wisconsin created 12000 jobs in February according to the article. All 50 States combined only created 86,000 jobs in March. So is the problem in Wisconsin or somewhere else?

Hey I am all about accountability and since Walker claimed that he would create 250K jobs and IF that doesn't happen he needs to answer for it. I suspect that he will point at the failed economic policies at the National level, our lower than average unemployment rate and what may be an uptick in job creation closer to the election and he will get a pass. I know that since governors don't create jobs so he will get a pass from me. Others may not be that understanding so we will se. May also depend on what kind of platform the Democratic challenger comes up with. Raise taxes to create jobs might be a tough sell.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

@ 196ski: FACT - good analysis.

Mad-son
Mad-son

So, the CES numbers put Scotty on a pace to not even reach half of his goal if things stay the same. And it certainly does not account for what kind of jobs these are. Consdiering that McDonalds now want's it's cashier's to have college degrees, there is the future for UW Madison grads...

According to the neocons, wherever you end up is a success.

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

if only it were a union job at McD's...because then the left would call it a family supporting good job.

Comment deleted.
PapaLorax
PapaLorax

she worked for the campaign - but that is oh so progressive of you to attack her for that...well done.

Liberalsmakesense
Liberalsmakesense

Very interesting how OTHERS tell us how many jobs were created by Governor Walker. What is the Governor's own perspective that he wants to go on record with, I wonder?

tomtom33
tomtom33

Walker created zero jobs. Governments do not create jobs. The best any government can hope to do is create conditions favorable to economic growth and then get out of the way.

paulwesterberg
paulwesterberg

Scott Walker is like the best jobs creator ever. In just a few years he created a million, no wait, a billion new jobs! Yeah! That's the ticket!

pete
pete

jussmiddle said: " After all, the "burden" of high taxes in Wisconsin is what suppresses job growth right? right? I still have never figured out the exact mechanism of how that works. If reducing corp. taxes does in fact "create" jobs, I am in favor of making the tax rate for them zero."

here's how - from the St Paul Pioneer Press: 4/10/13

"A Wisconsin company is receiving nearly $1 million in government incentives to expand into Lake Elmo.

The Valley Cartage company of Hudson will open an operations center in the Eagle Point Business Park near Interstate 94 and Radio Drive.

The site will employ 50 people with an annual payroll of more than $2.5 million, said company vice president Steve McFarland.

McFarland said some of the jobs in Lake Elmo will be new positions and some will be moved from Hudson. He said the company will start moving in mid-May.

The operations center will occupy vacant space in an existing building.

McFarland said the state offered the company $500,000 for creating the jobs and $400,000 in job-training tax credits. In addition, the city and Washington County will forgive the company about $40,000 in taxes over the next four years."


psssssst - the governor of MN is a bleeding heart (trust fund) liberal. What part don't you understand? Businesses will move where they can operate for less and states often compete for those businesses. This isn't an "evil republican" talking point, it's real life.

I hope this helps you figure out your mechanism....

hankdog
hankdog

pete:

So in effect MN bribed a WI company with $ 940000 to move to MN. What happens when those benefits expire, SD offer a bribe, then KS? This isn't how the system should work, creating winners and losers with taxpayer dollars.

uspotme
uspotme

Agreed. Those owners are laughing all the way to the bank. And Republicans call people on the welfare rolls takers. What do we call these moochers, good business men?

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

yep - some will do that. It's terrible for the states to compete...but it's even worse to try and get on your high horse and say you aren't going to play.

hankdog
hankdog

papa:

I don't know who you think is on a high horse besides yourself. Rather than steal jobs from another state, city, county, etc., wouldn't it be better to "grow your own"? I don't agree with the corporate welfare MN is handing out to the trucking company and I sure don't want my tax dollar spend like that here in WI.

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

hank - you are so defensive. I wasn't accusing you of being on your high horse...unless you are saying that Wisconsin should be above offering businesses incentives to stay/relocate.

How should you "grow" your own?

How should you respond if a company says it needs XYZ to stay or relocate?

pete
pete

I'm guessing the state of MN calls it an investment. If you want to call it a bribe that's up to you.

Why don't you explain how the system should work.

pete
pete

ivy states: "The Capital Times maintains a database on our website in which we track the BLS figures"

I'm just curious - does your database take into account the total numbers of "jobs saved" as well? It must, ever since obama and his staff came up with such an.....ummmm...ahhh....legitimate category, I have to believe a paper and writer with so much experience and integrity would consider it.

wisconsineye
wisconsineye

S54k- "I guess your solution is for everyone to buy their own fire truck and ambulance if they want this kind of protection and not rely on the government."

S54k- Yup, that is the only solution. Do you know what- our township just bought an ambulance from them and we (taxpayers) paid for it. No help from Uncle Sugar- should we have 'expected' his help?

S54k
S54k

What if a taxpayer in your township didn't want to participate in this purchase? You're going to deny them access to the ambulance and let them die because they didn't pony up right? How was it decided how much each "taxpayer" should pay towards the ambulance? And I wasn't aware non-government entities could collect funds from "taxpayers". No matter how you spin it, it sounds like this ambulance was purchased with government (Uncle Sugar) funds using taxpayer dollars for the benefit of everyone in the township.

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

no idea the specifics here...but EMS/Fire/Police do lots of fundraisers for specific equipment where I live.

jussmiddle
jussmiddle

Here is the numbers I would like to see that would measure "job creation". Since the Walker strategy has been to "create" jobs by reducing corporate taxes, why not take a list of corporations that are now paying less taxes and see how many jobs have been added in that time frame? After all, the "burden" of high taxes in Wisconsin is what suppresses job growth right? right? I still have never figured out the exact mechanism of how that works. If reducing corp. taxes does in fact "create" jobs, I am in favor of making the tax rate for them zero. But, I am skeptical that the numbers would bear that out.

tomtom33
tomtom33

If I am going to build a factory, would I build it in a State with high or low or no corporate taxes? Would you have better luck recruiting employees to a high tax or low tax State?

Nav
Nav

I am surprised you claim to know anything about business. Taxes are but ONE component of where companies choose to build plants. This is why we have plants in all states not in just selected states.

For most businesses, the more important criteria is where are they going to find the best qualified people and an overall business environment where businesses are thriving. Right now it is NOT Wisconsin, thanks to the Governor!

pete
pete

be specific nav, what has governor walker done to "disqualify" the people in our state? I understand that you and other state workers likely aren't his biggest fans but were any of you going to work for tomtom33's factory anyway?

At any time, if you would like to enlighten us what you claim to know about business, feel free.

tomtom33
tomtom33

I owned and operated my own small business for 15 years before I sold it and retired at the age of 50. I knew nothing about business. I just got lucky.

Tell me about your business experience.

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

tt, if you were going to build a factory it would be in China for the slave labor. Maybe Walker can grease the wheels for you.

jbob
jbob

Blind

Made economic for other states
That's how

jbob
jbob

Fox facts
44th = 6th

paulwesterberg
paulwesterberg

I guess it is easier to create lies than jobs.

wisconsineye
wisconsineye

Paul- Tell us about the 'lost' opportunities. Lost choo choo jobs are off the table though because turning down that money made economic sense.

Stuck In The Middle With You
Stuck In The Middle With You

Walker just can't deliver what he promised. He had so many opportunities to create jobs in Wisconsin but he cast them aside because of political idealogy. His reelection campaign team is working around the clock on the litany of excuses coming in 2014.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Walker made no such promise. He did promise to try to create an environment in which private enterprise could create 250K jobs. He did about as well as he could have done.

hankdog
hankdog

tt:

I beg to differ as to what walker said at various times. When he was campaigning in our northern county he said (this quote is from the local newspaper story, and I was also there to hear), " if elected my administration will create 250000 private sector jobs". That is what he said up here, so you can spin it however you like.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Do you have a citation for that quotation?

Nav
Nav

You are wrong tomtom22...again. Walker DID promise 250,000 at a time when unemployment was much higher. You can spin it anyway you want but the people of Wisconsin are not stupid. It was largely through his pledge that he won the election, and the people of Wisconsin have EVERY right to hold him accountable.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Obama said that unemployment would not exceed 8%, that he would cut our deficit in half by the end of his first term, and that he would close Gitmo. Are you holding him accountable?

uspotme
uspotme

Any guess as to what jobs number Governor blank stare would cite if he were campaigning?

Harvey
Harvey

The bottom line is they are comparing one set of numbers which are seasonally adjusted to another set of numbers which are not. That's like saying this year is cooler than last because
the Celsius number for last year is lower than the Fahrenheit number for this year. This type of comparison would be laughed out of a middle school science class. Garbage in - garbage out.

Big_Joe
Big_Joe

Interesting. We have the Cap Times and COWS calling the MacIver Institute biased. It's like three professional wrestlers calling each other a fake.

pete
pete

hilarious

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

Using two sets is bad - but their point was trying to calculate the number of private sector jobs added...is this number available somewhere? Surprised the article didn't say the "correct" number.

Dizzy1
Dizzy1

I think there's another underlying problem here with numbers. It doesn't show how many people just stop filing unemployment because they are out and they did not find a job. The second underlying problem here is the fact that citizen's left Wisconsin. Those are taxpayer dollars leaving our state. No house buying, no spending at stores, no property tax money, no corporation taxes, etc. The real solution to any of this is to create a database that addresses all issues that contribute to the numbers. I realize that it would take awhile to create the database, but then we could really see what's going on. I also liked the fact that we should look at Dept of Rev and IRS numbers to see how much taxpayer money is really given on a regular basis to the tax departments,after all, that's the taxpayer money everyone's talking, we should also include the money taken from paychecks for medicare, ssi as well. Then we would have a more accurate view. In the meantime, whether the President or our Governor, they need to all stop being "important" and find real solutions to our financial problems. We also need to get a "Unified" America. Right now we all look weak to our enemies.

Retoother
Retoother

http://www.wpri.org/WIInterest/Vol18No1/Sykes18.1.html


It is already there.......have computer......use it.


This is nothing new to WIS.....been going on since the 70's

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

we're 44th in job creation, I don't think that's been going on since the 70's.

tomtom33
tomtom33

No, we are not: http://www.deptofnumbers.com/employment/states/

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

did you even read the article - this is about jobs not unemployment numbers?

dakref
dakref

Oshkosh Truck is cutting 900 jobs and Caterpillar is cutting 300. How we lookin?

Retoother
Retoother

And that would be because of the Feds not WIS.

S54k
S54k

Damn Fed doves, getting us out of war instead of into them. There goes job growth opportunities building military equipment and military hospitals. walker will take care of this when he becomes president. he's laying the ground work by visiting China and looking for reasons to start a war with them. Think of the jobs he'll create! walker 2016!

davea
davea

Walker's going to China to sell-off parts of Wisconsin!

S54k
S54k

devea - you're right. After walker becomes president we'll be bombing some of the state parks he sold during his trip to China. On the positive side, think of the jet fuel costs we'll be saving!

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

so what should Walker have done to keep these jobs?

S54k
S54k

How about something good for society instead of bad. A high speed rail line connecting Chicago to Minneapolis via Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire and Hudson comes to mind. Both Oshkosk Trucks and Caterpillar have the infrastructure to convert unused resources to support high speed rail if they choose to. Not only would those jobs be saved, but think of the job growth in the cities named above. Oh yeah, I forgot. It was Obama's idea so it can't be good.!

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

hahaha - your answer is to dump more money into government supported jobs...thereby clearly answering the question. The only solution is to continue to make government more and more a part of our lives.

S54k
S54k

Hey papa, Oshkosh Corp makes emergency vehicles, you know fire trucks, ambulances, etc. things local governments usually spend money on but now can't afford due to the actions of walker. I guess your solution is for everyone to buy their own fire truck and ambulance if they want this kind of protection and not rely on the government. Also, since everyone should have a gun if they want to protect themselves, so let's do away with police and the military. Anybody without a gun, too bad. That will certainly save a lot of money and reduced government. By the way, the high speed rail would have contributed more to society through jobs, income taxes, sales taxes ect. in addition to getting quickly to other parts of the Midwest. Get out of your bubble!

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

And that's the difference - when the government says "freeze increases" you hear devastation. Sorry but that just isn't reality. What happened is that we have let the economy become so heavily tied to all things government that any blip in government spending has too many ripples. The solution to that isn't...more government. If someone wants to build a high speed rail - great - if government want to do it at a loss, and operate it at a loss, and never be able to get away from it...no. Enough is enough.

I firmly believe that the high speed rail would have done nothing to spur development...because transportation is not a limiting factor to development.

hankdog
hankdog

papa:

Most folks would take exception to your claim that" transportation is not a limiting factor to development". Every highway, harbor and airport project in the modern era was built to facilitate commerce and development. Look at the purpose and need statement and justification of these types of projects.

What a ridiculous statement.

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

hankdog: I meant that transportation is not a limiting factor is south central Wisconsin...as in for the purpose of the high speed train.

I certainly realize the importance of transportation and access for industry...this project was simply government pushing a pro-train agenda.

hankdog
hankdog

papa:

The high speed rail project also had a freight rail component to it. That portion was left out of most of the campaign speeches.

toobad
toobad

Everyone overstates job numbers. BLS=bs. The only number that counts is the treasury's bucket that collects incoming paycheck withholding.

S54k
S54k

Good point. This metric combines both additional jobs but pay rate of jobs. At least 2 or 3 minimum pay jobs jobs need to be created for every middle class job lost so this metric measures not only job quantity but job quality. Are state tax payroll deductions going up or down? I'm not a lawyer so I'm allowed to ask questions I don't know answers to. Seriously are state tax payroll deductions going up or down?

Mr_Deeks
Mr_Deeks

Perhaps it is COWS that is twisting and spinning? It's not like they are impartial. They certainly are not above pushing the liberal agenda.

ktruth
ktruth

He should be more like obama. He needs to say he created or saved 250,000 jobs so far. He is a head of schedule.

bookman21
bookman21

Misinform
Divide and Conquer
Disenfranchise
Cheat

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

Fox and Hate Radio have been using similar reports for years lying and distorting the truth for their listeners. That's why their are less informed than people that don't actively seek out the news.

Turn off Fox and Hate Radio it makes you poor.

toobad
toobad

I see you've taken your daily dose of hate and rage medicine

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

Turn off Fox and Hate Radio it makes you poor is not hate and rage, it's a financial service. toobad propaganda has you all messed up.

Cornelius Gotchberg
Cornelius Gotchberg

@toobad;

Turn off MSLSD & AirAmerica it makes @spooky tooth's knickers get in a twist.

Wait; you don't have to turn off AirAmerica. The 'real world' mercifully did that for you!

The Gotch

jbob
jbob

Of course they did
That is their single purpose

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