Wisconsin ranked 35th overall and last in the Midwest in job creation during Gov. Scott Walker’s first term, according to numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The preliminary BLS numbers released yesterday show a 5.69 percent increase for the number of jobs in the state when comparing December 2010 and the same month in 2014, the most recent available. That ranking puts Wisconsin last in the Midwest behind Michigan at 10th, Indiana at 18th, Minnesota at 23rd, Ohio at 25th, Iowa at 31st and Illinois at 33rd.
Michigan, by comparison, posted an 11.41 percent increase in jobs when comparing December 2010 and December 2014.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said the numbers show Republican policies are failing.
“Instead of focusing on creating jobs and stimulating our economy, Republicans have been focused on divisive social issues and paying back out-of-state special interest groups that support Gov. Walker’s presidential campaign,” Barca said.
The BLS numbers also show a 1.5 percent uptick in jobs from December 2013. That puts Wisconsin in a five-way tie for 36th. Only Iowa, with a 1.3 percent increase, ranked lower than Wisconsin and Minnesota among Midwestern states.
Still, DWD Secretary Reggie Newson was optimistic, saying Wisconsin picked up 35,800 private-sector jobs from December 2013. That number, he said, shows consistency in Wisconsin’s job growth in relation to other states and represents the best December-to-December job creation since 2004.
“As Wisconsin will have almost a million jobs to fill through 2022 and employers are expressing time and again that a lack of skilled labor is holding them back from expanding, we must stay focused on developing Wisconsin’s talent today and in the years to come,” Newson said.