BY JOHN MCCORMACK
In the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall race, Republicans and Democrats continue to spar over the jobs numbers under Governor Scott Walker’s administration. Republicans have been touting the fact that the unemployment rate has declined from 7.7 percent to 6.8 percent since Governor Scott Walker took office. But Democrats have countered by pointing to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report showing that the state lost 29,000 non-farm jobs during the past year–making Wisconsin dead last in that category nationwide.
So has Wisconsin’s employment outlook become better or worse? According to a new and more reliable jobs report, the BLS report cited by the Democrats is inaccurate. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today, the BLS “figures were based on a sample of 3.5% of the state’s employers and are subject to significant revisions.” According to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages–which is a hard count of actual jobs in Wisconsin, not a survey–the state actually gained more than 30,000 since Walker took office.
The new jobs report was met with outrage and incredulity from Wisconsin Democrats and liberals in the press. Tom Barrett had accused Walker of trying to “cook the books.”