Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Walker's great deception on Wisconsin's unemployment numbers exposed, used as cover-up for broken jobs promise.

It's been obvious for a long time that Scott Walker has been using the states low unemployment numbers as a substitute and distraction from his broken 250,000 jobs promise.

Relying again the national media, the Washington Post fact checkers has exposed Walker's attempt to cover up his actual uncomplimentary jobs record. They started their expose with a number of Walker claims:
1. “After years of record job loss, Wisconsin has gained over 140,000 jobs under Governor Walker, bringing the unemployment rate down to 4.6 percent, the lowest level since 2008.”   2. “[Wisconsin’s] labor participation is far greater than the national level. Unemployment’s far lower.” 
ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl: “So one of your central promises was that you were going to create 250,000 private sector jobs in Wisconsin. … You haven’t done it. I mean, you didn’t do it. You fell quite a bit short.”

Walker: “Yeah, we set a big, bold goal. We went from 8.1 percent unemployment December before I took office to last month we nearly cut that in half at 4.4 percent, well below the national unemployment rate. We’re going to continue to aim high both in our state. And if I was the candidate for president of the United States, I’d aim high as well there.”
The amazing truth beneath the deceptive spin:

We at The Fact Checker are critical of politicians claiming success in positive employment trends, which usually can’t be traced to a policy or decision of a single individual. Walker had called 250,000 jobs “my floor, not my ceiling” and “a minimum, just a base.” But now, on the campaign trail, he emphasizes it as a “big bold goal.” 

He points instead to the decrease in the state’s unemployment rate, increase in the labor participation rate, and how they compare to the national average. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate in July 2015 was about five percentage points higher than that month’s national rate. 

Side note: Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate in July 2015 was the lowest it had been since Walker took office in 2011. But of course that fact did not make it into his talking points. 

BLS officials warn against comparing state averages to national averages. For one, state averages are seasonally adjusted individually on the state level, so the numbers do not add up to the national level. 

Wisconsin traditionally has had a lower unemployment rate than national average, and a comparable or higher labor participation rate than the national average. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was higher than the national average even before Walker became governor. And the Wisconsin unemployment rate consistently has been lower than the national average since 1985. 

So while Walker touts the figures as a success, it is not a trend out of the ordinary or unique to his term ... the context in which he uses these figures exaggerate the progress under his term and deflect from his failure to keep a major campaign promise.
I'm sure the "Stand with Walker" trolls were stunned and enlightened. Didn't think so. 

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