New federal jobs data released today rank Wisconsin 37th in the nation in job growth since Gov. Scott Walker took office on Jan. 3, 2011, pledging to add 250,000 jobs in the state before his term ends at the start of 2015.
Walker, who is nowhere near on track to fulfill that promise, has backpedaled on it recently, saying he never meant that his goal was “to hit a magic number.” If the most recent data from The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages is an indicator, there’s little chance the governor will have time to make up for the momentum he’s lost.
The report, which Walker himself has previously called the “gold standard of jobs measurement,” showed that Wisconsin not only ranks 37th but is adding jobs at about half the rate of the national average.
Today’s disappointing jobs data follows a Forbes Magazine ranking yesterday that put Wisconsin in 45th place for potential job growth and 41st overall on its annual Best States to do Business List.
Although Walker ran for governor on a jobs-growth platform, his administration has worked with the Republican-controlled Legislature instead to pursue far-right policies with such goals as eliminating women’s reproductive choice, reducing women’s access to birth control and health care, lowering education spending, increasing taxpayer support of religious schools that ban the teaching of science, increasing the presence of guns on the street, scuttling the Affordable Care Act, and weakening environmental and consumer rights regulation.
Still, the governor’s disapproval rating stands at only 49 percent and he leads all potential Democratic challengers in his re-election race next year.