At half the national average, job growth in Wisconsin lagged again in 2015

Louis Weisberg, Staff writer

Wisconsin ranks 37th in private-sector job growth over the past year, according to figures released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At the same time, figures from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages show that Wisconsin ranked dead last in the Midwest over the past four years. Wisconsin’s private-sector job growth rate during the most recent one-year period was 1.27 percent, barely half the national rate of 2.3 percent.

Democratic legislative leaders seized on those numbers to underscore the failure of the state’s Republican majority leaders. Early this month, Dems called for an extraordinary session of the Legislature to address the state’s job crisis, but state GOP officials ignored them.

Instead “the Republicans in power chose to force through bills that shred the fabric of Wisconsin’s nationally recognized model of good, clean government,” said state Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, in a statement he released at the time.

Other job-growth measures for 2015 have been no better than the recent ones. Between June 2014 and June 2015, Wisconsin added only about 31,000 new jobs — the second lowest in the last five years for the June-to-June time span.

Another report says by the end of 2015, there will have been a total of 11,000 mass layoff notices sent out to Wisconsin workers, nearly double the 6,500 mass layoff notices that the state averaged between 2012 and 2014.

Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha vowed in a statement released today that “legislative Democrats will continue to advocate for the people’s agenda.”
“The difference between Democrats and Republicans couldn’t be clearer,” Barca said. “Democrats have called for an extraordinary session focused on creating jobs and strengthening our middle class, and we have brought forward numerous bills and ideas to help accomplish those goals. … Legislative Republicans continue to pursue an agenda focused on helping special interests and their own self-interests.