Wisconsin added 15,700 private-sector jobs in JanuaryWisconsin News
Wisconsin’s much-anticipated jobs report has both good and bad news for Republicans as they fight to keep control of the governor’s office and the state Senate in the expected recall elections. The state has had a net job loss of 8,100 during Gov. Walker's tenure.
Wisconsin’s much-anticipated jobs report has both good and bad news for Republicans as they fight to keep control of the governor’s office and the state Senate in the expected recall elections.
Preliminary figures released Thursday show that Wisconsin gained 15,700 private sector jobs in January, the most since Republican Gov. Scott Walker took office 14 months ago.
The unemployment rate of 6.9 percent is the lowest since the end of 2008.
But revised data showed that Wisconsin lost thousands more jobs last year than previously thought, a total of 9,700.
That means the state only gained 6,000 sector jobs during Walker’s tenure. When public jobs are added in, the state had a net loss of 8,100.
In his weekly radio address, Walker said previous job losses under Jim Doyle have leveled off and the state’s moving in the right direction.
State GOP chair Brad Courtney said Walker’s budget reforms are working.
Assembly Finance chair Robin Vos said people no longer have to worry about putting food on the table.
Brett Healy of the conservative MacIver Institute says no amount of spinning can hide the falling unemployment rate.
But state Democratic Party director Mike Tate noted that the totals are still “in the hole” under Walker even with January’s employment gains.
Kelly Steele of the labor group We are Wisconsin said most of last year’s job growth came before the Republicans’ policies took effect
Marquette economist Abdur Chowdhury said it would be “extremely difficult” for Walker to keep his campaign promise to create a 250,000 private sector jobs by 2015.
Recall election planning
State officials are asking local government clerks what the best dates would be for recall elections.
The Government Accountability Board spoke with the clerks Thursday to discuss procedures for the April 3 contests now that a judge has temporarily halted the photo ID law. While they were doing that, board officials gave local clerks five possible scenarios for recall election dates.
If the validation of recall signatures stays on schedule, primaries could be held May 1 and general elections would be May 29, the day after Memorial Day. That’s one of the options the clerks are being asked about.
Another would hold the primaries on May 29 with general elections on June 26.
Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators face possible recall votes. The board will discuss the procedures and scheduling further when it meets on Monday.