Thu May 17, 2012
Walker releases new employment numbers claiming jobs growth
Gov. Scott Walker has released a new set of employment numbers that show the state added jobs in his first year instead of losing them. It's a highly unusual step, one Democrats say is hard to verify.
Walker's new numbers are based off of a census of employers in Wisconsin instead of the employer survey that's released monthly by Wisconsin and other states. Those monthly numbers showed a job loss for Walker's first year in office. The quarterly census numbers which are more thorough show a job gain of roughly 23,000 jobs.
Walker said it made it harder for Democrats to attack him on the issue of jobs, "Obviously, I understand the political implications in that it does change the narrative and that, obviously as a candidate, that's a positive thing. But that doesn't change the facts. And the facts are clear that Wisconsin gained jobs and that any of the assertions being made now about Wisconsin losing jobs are just plain wrong. They're not factual."
The new numbers have yet to be verified by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and they won't be verified until June 28th--weeks after Walker's recall election. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett said they were impossible to confirm, "I think we're all in the same boat. None of us know whether these are verifiable. None of us know whether these are numbers that can stand up to the light of day. All we know is that 28 days before the election, he's got a new set of numbers that he's going to trot out."
Bureau of Labor Statistics Economist Richard Clayton said it was an unusual move for Wisconsin to release these numbers before they were verified by the federal government. But Clayton added that the bureau had no problem with the release, saying that he did not expect the final numbers to differ much from the ones released by the state.