It Gets Worse: The Math on Scott Walker’s Job Creation Pledge

With just a few short months left to go in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s first term, his signature campaign promise — the creation of 250,000 new Wisconsin jobs in four years — is destined for failure. Months ago, PolitiFact noted that “most everyone agrees his promise of 250,000 new jobs in four years won’t be met,” due to the slow rate of job growth in the state.

Fast forward to this week and Walker’s job creation prospects have gotten even worse. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as reviewed by PolitiFact, Wisconsin actually had negative job growth in May and June, for a total of about -1,700 jobs. Not only has Scott Walker failed to add even half of the jobs he promised during his first term, job growth is backsliding in Wisconsin and significantly lags behind neighboring Midwestern states.

We’re not math experts, but we do know that you can’t add jobs by subtracting them — yet Walker and his appointees have rewarded companies that outsource jobs out of Wisconsin, just one example of the misguided economic policies that make impossible the fulfillment Walker’s job creation promise.

Politifact breaks down the latest BLS data on Wisconsin jobs — check out key highlights from their analysis below:

The report, released July 17, 2014 by the state Department of Workforce Development, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, also revised down by 500 the May jobs tally.
Together, that’s a step backward by 1,700 jobs.

But a Wall Street Journal piece published July 18, 2014 provided a much rosier — and it turns out very inaccurate — outlook for Walker. More on that in a moment.

The new numbers mean state employers have added 8,500 jobs in the first six months of this year, according to our calculations. That’s in addition to the 91,678 jobs they added in the first three years of Walker’s term.

So the total, according to our monthly calculation, is 100,313, or about 40 percent of the total Walker promised. That leaves 149,687 jobs to go before his term ends.

In order for Walker, who is up for re-election in November, to reach his goal, the state would have to add a total of 24,947 in each remaining month of the year. That’s nearly what the state added in each year in the past three years.