SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS and ECONOMY
From the site Department Of Numbers:
According to the BLS current population survey (CPS), the unemployment rate for Wisconsin fell 0.4 percentage points in November 2011 to 7.3%. The state unemployment rate was 1.4 percentage points lower than the national rate for the month. The unemployment rate in Wisconsin peaked in June 2009 at 9.2% and is now 1.9 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 7.3% in April 2011, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.0 percentage points. You can also seeWisconsin unemployment compared to other states.
Note: All comparisons are made with November data as December state level unemployment data has not yet been released.
Unemployment Rate November 2011 Month/Month Year/Year National 8.7% -0.2 -1.1 Wisconsin 7.3% -0.4 -0.3
Unemployment Rate: ,
Note: Recessions shown in gray
The number of people unemployed in Wisconsin peaked in June 2009 at 285,095. There are now 61,262 fewer people unemployed in the state. is also available.
|Unemployed Persons||November 2011||Month/Month||Year/Year|
|Unemployed Persons||December 2011||Month/Month||Year/Year|
The argument that Wisconsin employment is suffering is based on recent cutbacks in state government employees... not necessarily on rate comparisons with nearby states or the national rates. Conveniently overlooked is the point that those government employee cutbacks were taken to help strengthen Wisconsin's fiscal situation which was looking increasingly difficult... and are occurring in other states and at the federal level.
That said, I'm not necessarily of fan of Gov. Walker's approach to laying a big chunk of the fiscal burden on the backs of teachers, many of whom have been driven into dangerous economic straits by changes in their benefits funding. The argument was that teachers were paying little or nothing for their benefits... all true. What hasn't been said is that many teachers, not all, have been paid a relatively low salary as an offset to those benefits and that taking a large chunk of their current salaries to now fund the benefits... as much as 25%... placed an enormous and inordinate burden on individual teachers.
An example of the manipulation going on: the premium pay for a Masters degree was less than $3.00 per hour... not enough to pay for the cost of degree, but absolutely required for some teaching positions... and now the premium pay is being taken away... but the requirements remain. Try doing that in the private sector.
Wisconsin recovered somewhat faster than the rest of the nation for about a year and then the national recovery began to close the gap. So, the argument is that Gov. Walker caused the gap to close as opposed to the argument that some other laggard states, such as Michigan, were beginning to show improvements from far worse conditions which allowed for greater absolute improvement.
If you look at the fall in unemployment rates from the high point in 2009 rather than mid-2011, you'll see a movement in line with the nation... a relationship for the past decade... shown in the larger graph above.
Perhaps one might want to consider another argument: the recovery for the nation and Wisconsin might have been considerably faster if our President's economic policies were not so counterproductive.