Walker's Jobs Announcement Fodder For Both Sides
Facing a recall election, the governor says new jobs numbers released Wednesday are a more accurate reflection of how the state is doing. Tom Barrett calls announcement a political stunt.
Gov. Scott Walker released a new set of job numbers Wednesday morning that showed the state gained 23,300 public and private jobs during 2011, up from a previously-reported drop of 33,900.
The new numbers come from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, part of a national report due to be issued on June 28, according to an Associated Press report.
With Walker pushing up the announcement so that it comes three weeks ahead of the June 5 recall election, reaction has been predictably and wildly mixed.
Walker's campaign said the numbers more accurately reflect what is happening in the state. The data is comprised of reports issued to 96 percent of Wisconsin employers and makes the numbers "much more reliable," according to a news release.
"With more than 33,000 jobs created since Governor Walker took office and the unemployment rate plummeting to its lowest since 2008, it is certain the governor's bold reforms and leadership are moving Wisconsin forward," campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said.
Tom Barrett's campaign, meanwhile, released a statement ripping the announcement as "electon-nomics." It said Wednesday's numbers distract attention from Walker's "worst-in-the-nation jobs record," a reference to a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed Wisconsin with more job losses from March 2011 to March 2012 than any state in the nation.
"Today's cynical announcement isn't about how best to calculate job growth in Wisconsin – this is about Scott Walker pulling political stunts to save his own job," Barrett's communications director Phil Walzak said.
Media reports about today's news have also differed.
"Walker Dislikes Job Numbers, So He'll Put Out His Own" was the headline from Bloomberg, while economists quoted in an Associated Press story say the new jobs numbers are more accurate.