This just in from the MacIvory Tower Institute! See? JOBS!

I tried to test this on my B.S. meter earlier today, but it broke before I could enter the entire headline from the MacIver Institute:

“Wisconsin’s New Jobs Account for More than Half of Nation’s Net Gain for June”

“While Nation Sputters on Jobs, Wisconsin Economy Begins to Hum”

[Madison, Wisc…] Earlier this month, analysts were dismayed by the nation’s anemic job creation numbers. On Thursday, state officials were pleased as they released data that showed more than half of the net new jobs added in the US in June came from Wisconsin…

Using seasonally adjusted data, the 12,900 private-sector jobs created in June marks the largest one-month gain in Wisconsin since September 2003. The state’s net new job gain for June is 9,500 jobs, more than half of the nation’s net gain of 18,000 jobs…

* * *

Isn’t that fabulous? And just in time for the August recall elections! Oh, but hang on… Is that the humming of the economy we hear — or just somebody whistling past the graveyard?

* * *

Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted June unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, up slightly from 7.4 percent in May… Without seasonal adjustment, Wisconsin’s June unemployment rate was 8.1 percent, up from 7.4 percent in May…

* * *

Oh, that’s different. Never mind!  (That’s the problem with job counting sometimes. We also don’t know much about what these jobs pay, whether they’re mostly seasonal, or a lot of other things.)

So just to make sure everyone understands, the unemployment rate last month is up (not down.) And if you’ve run out your unemployment – an issue that impacts on tens of thousands of Wisconsin people in families where that is the case – you can go pound sand. That $89 million worth of support from the federal government that our all-GOP legislature and executive branch still haven’t gotten around to approving – which has been available since April – is still hung up in procedures. But the one nice thing about Fitzwalkerstan is that when stuff like this happens, it’s very easy to figure where the blame lies (even while they’re busy trying to take credit for something that looks mighty suspect and diverting attention from other things that most certainly are.)

Going back to the jobs numbers, however, we have to be truly impressed with how the guv, GOP legislators, the MacIver Institute, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Area Chamber of Commerce and WMC all managed to have perfectly harmonized talking points ready to roll at the moment the report came out from the Department of Workforce Development. That’s really fast thinking! All boldly stood before God and this congregation to tell us, yes, little old Wisconsin is responsible for more than half of all the new net jobs in the entire country in June. They never blinked. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it. And if you extrapolate those numbers, it only takes a little more than 26 months to get the vaunted 250,000 jobs that Walker promised in his campaign. (Of course, the unemployment rate would also be approaching 13 percent, if you extrapolate that over the same period.)

It’s almost enough to make a person forget about gerrymandered redistricting, union-busting, tax cuts at the top, tax increases at the bottom, a crooked tort system, hundreds of millions in cuts to education and local governments, walking all over local control, shafting the craft brewers, knowing that the unemployment rate actually rose and all the rest.

Or maybe not.


Background on the MacIver Institute from Center for Media and Democracy: 

This American Life segment with Walker on job creation: 

This just in: Massachusetts claims growth of 10,000 jobs last month. (Gee, that doesn’t leave much for the rest of the Nation, does it?)

Whoops! Politifact rates GOP jobs claim as “False.”:


4 Responses to “This just in from the MacIvory Tower Institute! See? JOBS!”

  1. Hey, just caught you from a WisOpinion link. If you ever want me to read you again, you need dark text on a light background. My eyeballs just fell out of my head.

  2. Thanks for stopping by. I’m always grateful when criticism is limited to typography. 🙂

  3. WorkingStiff Says:

    Dear Jim,

    Do you mean to suggest that creating 9,500 s-a jobs, whether they pay six-figures or minimum wage, is somehow a bad thing? And do honestly not understand that when people are sufficiently encouraged by pro-growth policies to reenter the workforce after a long absence that the unemployment rate will rise in the short-term?

    Because your blog post makes it sound like you’re scoffing at 9,500 jobs (though I can’t imagine that the folks who got those jobs share your cynisism). And your emphasis on the unemployment rate instead of the jobs-created figure suggests you’re either ignorant of basic labor economics or willfully disingenuous.

    I don’t know you, so I can’t guess which. But if your anti-work ethic represents a significant element of voters in the Badger State, it’s no wonder the unemployment picture there had gotten so bleak in recent years. It’s sure a good thing that a majority of voters came to their senses in time to beat the socialists and radical unionists back.

    On Wisconsin!

    -A Working Stiff

  4. From one working stiff to another, I have to tell you that I am highly skeptical of the claim that Wisconsin produced more than half of the total net job gains in the country last month.

    I am neither anti-work nor anti-growth (but I am also not anti-worker.) I agree with supporting job opportunities at every level — particularly now — but at some point, quality DOES come into play. (The ancient Israelites had full employment in Egypt, didn’t they? The construction industry was humming along and those “job creaters” were doing splendidly, right?)

    My emphasis on the unemployment rate is really pretty simple: I think it provides a valuable measurement of the condition of the labor market. “Jobs created” seems to have a whole lot more room for claims like the one I cited in this entry. It looks like we are two people who disagree about what good policy is for most people and how overall outcomes are best measured.

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