April 25, 2012

"Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that had 'statistically significant' job losses over the past 12 months"... but 74% of the jobs lost were government jobs.

According to this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state lost 23,900 jobs from March 2011 to March 2012.

The majority - 17,800 - were government jobs. But Wisconsin also lost more private-sector jobs - 6,100 - than any other state over those same 12 months, the government data shows.

Democrats have seized on GOP Gov. Scott Walker's job creation record as a central campaign theme in the June 5 recall election.

"Walker's jobs record is a total failure, and this is what happens when you pursue ideology instead of focusing on jobs," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who is competing for the Democratic nomination against Walker.

"Every report card that comes in for Gov. Walker shows he's failing Wisconsin," said Kathleen Falk, the other leading Democratic challenger.
What would Barrett and Falk do that would increase the number of jobs in Wisconsin? Hire more government workers?

Toward the bottom of the article:
Separate government data show that Wisconsin was one of 18 states that had a statistically significant drop in the unemployment rate during the same March 2011 to March 2012 time frame, from 7.6% to 6.8%.

The governor has put this statistic as the center of his economic message. While it seems contradictory....

105 comments:

MadisonMan said...

The Governor did run on bring 250K jobs into Wisconsin.

Is there something wrong with holding a politician to his campaign "promises"?

MadisonMan said...

Ugh. bringing, not bring.

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prairie wind said...

I wouldn't wish unemployment on anyone but I do wish that government would be the employer most likely to lay off employees.

Government employees need to feel a little of the insecurity that the rest of us are feeling in this economy. Or any economy, come to think of it.

David said...

Mad Man if you want to hold him to that campaign promise you need to permit him to serve his entire term. I do not think he promised that this increase would occur in the first 18 months.

Or would you rather follow the example of Governor Doyle, who presided over the loss of about 140,000 jabs net?

Sorun said...

Democrats have seized on GOP Gov. Scott Walker's job creation record as a central campaign theme...

Does the main reason for the recall election change with time? Maybe next month the Dems' theme will be about too many gnats and mosquitos.

edutcher said...

Isn't this the whole idea of cutting the cost of government, ending things the government does? If you do that, there will be fewer government jobs.

Seems pretty logical (and good) to me.

I take it this is how that school district went from 2 Mil in the hole to a 500 K profit.

Scott M said...

and this is what happens when you pursue ideology instead of focusing on jobs

I thought Obamacare had that covered. Well, that's what Bawny Fwanks said, anyway.

The governor has put this statistic as the center of his economic message. While it seems contradictory....

How are those two versions of reality reconciled? How can unemployment go down if there are significant job losses?

traditionalguy said...

Government "Jobs" can start in the morning. The State is shovel shit ready.

But bringing in new employers other than shovel ready State Bureaucracies takes several years lag time aftern the Tax and Regulatory climate become more favorable under a Walker Regime in Wisconsin. But when it works it will be from permanent capital investment in new plants and not budget capped temp jobs in the old Government.

ndspinelli said...

The dirty secret is the guy who was a huge contributor to this government worker juggernaut was Tommy Thompson. Walker will not blame Thompson but he did have to clean up after him as well as Doyle.

MadisonMan said...

@ndspinelli, but TT wasn't a "real" Republican. (eyeroll)

Rabel said...

He's set up well to cut and paste an Obama speech blaming it on an inheritance from the previous administration.

edutcher said...

The big problem in the country generally is that the only sector that's been hiring the last 4 years has been government, especially the Feds.

A lot of Zero's "jobs created" is right there and, of course, it sucks the money out of the rest of the economy.

Unless you agree with Pelosi Galore that unemployment stimulates the economy.

shirley elizabeth said...

If there were all these job losses but the unemployment rate actually improved, someone's getting jobs, right? Either the current jobless or the more recent jobless.

The Farmer said...

"Isn't this the whole idea of cutting the cost of government, ending things the government does? If you do that, there will be fewer government jobs."

1. Walker has repeatedly justified increased pay-ins for health insurance and pensions by claiming it's better than the alternative, which would be to eliminate government jobs. Yet we're down 17,800 government jobs.

2. "Wisconsin also lost more private-sector jobs - 6,100 - than any other state over those same 12 months, the government data shows."

Jay said...

The Farmer said...

1. Walker has repeatedly justified increased pay-ins for health insurance and pensions by claiming it's better than the alternative, which would be to eliminate government jobs. Yet we're down 17,800 government jobs.


Except Walker never said of the public sector unions "no jobs will be lost"

PS: Walker's reforms are going to save WI $1 billion.

Jay said...

What is even funnier is Walker's opponent will be someone who used Walker's budget repair bill to save his city over $20 million.

Which is why "the narrative" is now switching to "jobs"

But of course said narrative is not to be applied to Obama.

bgates said...

How can unemployment go down if there are significant job losses?

That's possible because the unemployment rate is defined misleadingly, as the number of people without jobs who are looking for work divided by the size of the labor force (which is the sum of employed people plus the number without jobs who are looking for work).

The trick is that if you get so discouraged that you give up even trying to get a job, you are no longer considered unemployed.

For example, with 10k unemployed and 100k employed (and nobody "discouraged"), the unemployment rate is 10/(100+10) ~ 9.1%.

Now if another 5k lose their jobs, and all the original 10k give up, the unemployment rate becomes
5/(95+5) = 5%. Three times as many people don't have jobs, but the unemployment rate is cut in half.

This also makes the unemployment rate jump when the economy starts to improve, because formerly discouraged people reenter the labor force (start at least looking for jobs) because they finally have hope of finding work.

The Farmer said...

"Except Walker never said of the public sector unions "no jobs will be lost""

You're right, he never technically said those words. He just argued ad nauseum that the increased pay-ins were necessary to avoid an even worse fate: the loss of public sector jobs. Then we lost 17,800 of those jobs.

Not all public sector jobs in Wisconsin are union jobs, by the way.

Pogo said...

Government employment is not productive or wealth-creating.

Transferring money from Peter to the State, who gives a portion of it to Paul, does nothing positive for the economy, even if Paul spends all of what he took in Wisconsin.

Government jobs are a parasitic relationship, nothing more. Counting their positions among employment figures is bullshit.

You might as well hire yourself and count that as working 2 jobs, or 3. It's meaningless to the economy, if not a downright drag.

garage mahal said...

Walker will not blame Thompson but he did have to clean up after him as well as Doyle.

In Doyle's last year Wisconsin added 30,000 private sector jobs. We were recovering from the recession. The state is looking like his tenure in Milwaukee County. He has no idea what he's doing.

Jay said...

he Farmer said...

You're right, he never technically said those words. He just argued ad nauseum that the increased pay-ins were necessary to avoid an even worse fate: the loss of public sector jobs. Then we lost 17,800 of those jobs.


You are absolutely lying.


Walker never said any such thing.

Andy R. said...

While it seems contradictory, Wisconsin has experienced both job declines and a drop in unemployment at various times over the past year or more. One explanation is that the two indicators come from different surveys. Another is that the unemployment rate can drop even when the total number of jobs is flat or declining - if there's also a decline in the size of the workforce or the number of people looking for work. Economists say those factors explain a significant part of the drop in Wisconsin's unemployment rate.

What a convenient place you chose to truncate the quotation in your post.

The Farmer said...

"Transferring money from Peter to the State, who gives a portion of it to Paul, does nothing positive for the economy, even if Paul spends all of what he took in Wisconsin. Government jobs are a parasitic relationship, nothing more. Counting their positions among employment figures is bullshit."

Huh. Makes you wonder why Scott Walker was so eager to save those jobs.

damikesc said...

While it seems contradictory, Wisconsin has experienced both job declines and a drop in unemployment at various times over the past year or more. One explanation is that the two indicators come from different surveys. Another is that the unemployment rate can drop even when the total number of jobs is flat or declining - if there's also a decline in the size of the workforce or the number of people looking for work. Economists say those factors explain a significant part of the drop in Wisconsin's unemployment rate.

What a convenient place you chose to truncate the quotation in your post.


You going to condemn Obama's policies because lord knows that last sentence is why HIS unemployment rate is below double digits.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

What is Tom Barrett's record on unemployment while Mayor of Milwaukee? It must be pretty impressive.

dreams said...

Remember that Obama's stimulus package mostly went to the states that used the money to keep from laying off government employees while the private sector was getting lean and mean by laying off employees. The Republicans would like to get our government lean and mean, good luck with that.

Pogo said...

Moreover, I no longer have any faith in government stats.

Especially not from the BLS.
not anymore.
I call bullshit.

The numbers are politicized, by the BLS, in the same way the IRS has been politicized to go after Tea Party folks.

If there are no impartial numbers, then go screw. It's not unlike China, where numbers are created to sell a particular position, and there are no real data.

The Farmer said...

"You are absolutely lying."

Hey.


"Walker never said any such thing."

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20110303/GPG0101/110303130/Wisconsin-Gov-Scott-Walker-promises-layoff-notices-Friday-budget-repair-bill-isn-t-passed

Pogo said...

Seriously, I don't believe a goddamn word from the feds anymore.

No better than Pravda.

Chip S. said...

@bgates, A simpler explanation for the difference b/w job losses and unemployment-rate changes is emigration.

For the first time in 7 years, Wisconsin had substantially more emigrants than immigrants during 2011.

Dems will say this is due to bleak job prospects. Repubs will say people fled the craziness.

I blame the fleebaggers for setting a poor example.

Fun for all!

The Farmer said...

"What is Tom Barrett's record on unemployment while Mayor of Milwaukee? It must be pretty impressive."

I imagine it's as bad as Walker's, or close. It's a shame people like Barrett and Falk are the best the Wisconsin Dems can do.

Jay said...

The Farmer said...
"You are absolutely lying."

Hey.


"Walker never said any such thing."


You have serious reading comprehension problems.

Walker never said anywhere, ever that there will be no pubic sector layoffs in Wisconsin if his budget passes.

You can grasp that while posting lies, right?

Jay said...

Andy R. said...

What a convenient place you chose to truncate the quotation in your post.



Laugh out loud funny.

You've criticized Obama's jobs record - 2 million + jobs lost and record number of people out of the labor force - right?

*GIGGLE*

Pogo said...

Andy R criticized Walker for using the same employment rate reduction stats as Obama, whom he praises.

This is my surprised face.

garage mahal said...

The numbers are politicized, by the BLS, in the same way the IRS has been politicized to go after Tea Party folk

Oh Christ. Time to face the music. Walker and policies have been a disaster. Tea Party ideology and right wing talk radio meets reality. Nobody could have predicted.

MadisonMan said...

@David, Gov. Walker is free to make that argument. Just give me more time!!

Beta Rube said...

The Milwaukee Journal is the Democrat's media wing, as the Milwaukee DA is their legal department.

Barrett has failed miserably in Milwaukee, but that info is nowheer in the article.

Surprise!!!

The Farmer said...

"You can grasp that while posting lies, right?"

Again: Hey.

S said...

I think a lot of people don't get why the BLS reports a "core CPI" with food and energy excluded. People think that's supposed to mean that food and energy prices "don't matter", when they actually make up a substantial portion of consumer spending (especially among poor consumers). But that's not the point -- until a few years ago, food and energy prices tended to be poor predictors of future food and energy prices, but other inflation was a pretty good predictor of future inflation. The core number isn't more important in itself, it's just supposed to be a better predictor than the complete number.

Similarly, I shedding state workers obviously increases the number of unemployed people in the short run. If the people let go are not people anyone would pay their own money to employ, there may even be some lasting effect. But I think looking at private sector employment is a better long-run measure (especially if the state has changed its employment numbers a lot more than any individual private employer). Look at it the other way -- the government could juice the unemployment numbers in the short run by simply hiring a bunch of unemployed people to dig holes and the another bunch to fill them. But that wouldn't promote a healthy economy in the long run.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I imagine it's as bad as Walker's, or close. It's a shame people like Barrett and Falk are the best the Wisconsin Dems can do.


Acutally, Barrett's record is much worse. From JSOnline 2010:

Marc Levine, executive director of the Center for Economic Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said the latest census data reflect the city's lack of job growth.

"Our analysis of employment data shows that Milwaukee has had among the worst job creation records of any big city in the U.S. for over a decade, so it is not surprising that poverty numbers have worsened, especially during the worst recession since the Great Depression," Levine said.

X said...

losing govt jobs is positive economic news for the citizens. the newly unemployed can get private sector jobs and become net taxpayers.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
Oh Christ. Time to face the music. Walker and policies have been a disaster.


Hilarious.

And Obama's policies have been _____?

Don't worry bozo, nobody believes you're at all credible so you can persist in your silly double standards.

The Farmer said...

"And Obama's policies have been _____?"

They've mostly been disastrous too.

So what?

The Farmer said...

Say, are you going to call me a liar again?

The Farmer said...

Because it's rude and hurtful.

BarrySanders20 said...

I wonder what percentage of the "lost" government jobs are from local governments who chose not to use Walker's Act 10 reforms by rushing to sign new collective bargaining agreements before the law took effect, who now must face the reality of lower state aid without the ability to lower costs in any other way than to lay off workers. Lord knows the public sector unions who conspired with local officials on new contracts won't help their seniority-lacking brothers who are facing lay-offs by voluntarily agreeing to contribute more toward pensions or health insurance -- the unions force the layoffs, then trumpet these statistics.

An examination of the layoffs from municipalities and school districts which actually used the Act 10 tools compared to those which did not would be a relevant comparison, but don't expect the JS to do the work to find out where the layoffs are from.

Pogo said...

White House Politicizing Bureau of Labor Statistics

Obama Labor Politburo Now Publishing Patently Bogus Unemployment Propaganda

Can We Rely on the Executive Branch for Unsullied Data?

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/can_we_rely_on_the_executive_branch_for_unsullied_data.html#ixzz1t4Pp0jih


Credibility of Economic Data questioned, p. 36

Black Helicopters Hover Over Economic Reality: Caroline Baum

The "real" economy has been worse than previously reported

BLS Birth Death Conundrum?

garage mahal said...

Don't worry bozo, nobody believes you're at all credible so you can persist in your silly double standards.

They don't have to believe me. Just look at the data. It was awesome for you to come in here and read Walker press releases though, and pretend you know or care what's going on in Wisconsin .

AJ Lynch said...

There must be a lot of BLS stats out there because just yesterday I refuted this same exact erroneous claim by Garbage.

Here are the numbers I got from the BLS:

WI employment in Mar 2012 was 2,856,643 and unemployment rate was 6.8%.

WI employment in Mar 2011 was 2,838,145 and the unemployment rate was 7.6%.

I suspect the MSM got hold of misleading data and is now running with it because they hate Walker.

Here is the link:
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LASST55000005?data_tool=XGtable

Chip S. said...

One way to "lose jobs" in the public sector is not to replace retirees right away. If retirements spike, then public-sector job losses will also spike.

Guess what happened in Wisconsin:

Those who retire are able to lock in existing retirement benefits, Dan Rossmiller, director of government relations for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, told KARE-TV.

So greedy government employees retire early to maintain their deluxe benefits, then the politicians who work for them complain about job losses?

Beautiful.

Andy R. said...

You've criticized Obama's jobs record - 2 million + jobs lost and record number of people out of the labor force - right?

I don't think I've every participated in a thread about it here, but I certainly have some criticisms from a leftward perspective on how Obama has handled unemployment.

Granted, I don't think many of you would agree with my "he's doing the best he can with an intransigent Republican Congress" opinion.

Chip S. said...

I don't think many of you would agree with my "he's doing the best he can with an intransigent Republican Congress" opinion.

Words I never expected to say to AndyR:

You got that right.

garage mahal said...

So greedy government employees retire early to maintain their deluxe benefits, then the politicians who work for them complain about job losses?

yes, it's greedy to look out for what's best for you and your family. Nobody in the private sector would ever do that.

Chip S. said...

garage, your irony detector is malfunctioning.

I guess your BLS-induced boner has drained too much blood from your brain this morning.

I Callahan said...

It was awesome for you to come in here and read Walker press releases though, and pretend you know or care what's going on in Wisconsin..

For once, Garage, I'd like to see you come up with a plan that would help the state of Wisconsin. What would your prescription be?

Walker has NOT been in office long enough for his policies to have been a "disaster". You're letting your biases and emotions get the best of you.

I Callahan said...

yes, it's greedy to look out for what's best for you and your family. Nobody in the private sector would ever do that.

The fact that it comes at a large expense to someone else, who DOESN'T get the kind of bennies government employees get, is what's important. Why should I take a paycut, pay higher costs for everything AND pay higher taxes just so government employees can exempt themselves from the laws of economics?

If we all have to "pay our fair share", so do government employees. And they can do this by understanding that the things they think they should get (pensions and health care for 30 years after working) are not sustainable in any long-term form.

machine said...

I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids....in Wisconsin.

Thanks Gov!

garage mahal said...

If we all have to "pay our fair share", so do government employees. And they can do this by understanding that the things they think they should get (pensions and health care for 30 years after working) are not sustainable in any long-term form.

If it were that easy and lucrative, why aren't you in the public sector?

chickenlittle said...

Granted, I don't think many of you would agree with my "he's doing the best he can with an intransigent Republican Congress" opinion.

Confuscious say: Andy R fluffs POTUS policy on Walker thread, gets surprise on face.

Chip S. said...

Great neologism, chicklit.

leslyn said...

Pogo said,

"Government employment is not productive or wealth-creating."

Well obviously we can't have an entire state composed of government jobs. And we don't.

But to say they're unproductive and not contributing to health is wrong.

1. Government workers pay taxes.
2. Government workers buy groceries, school clothes, cars, and pay tuition, and rent or buy homes. That's a significant contribution to the economy.
3 Laid-off government workers collect unemployment like other unemployed workers, which is a drag on the economy.

The main effect of this is that significant layoff of government workers in a short period of time is a negative shock to the economy.

Let the slicing and diving begin.

Chip S. said...

@leslyn, None of those things makes government workers productive.

Providing the handful of essential government tasks efficiently is productive.

The question is simply where to draw the line. Simple to pose, that is, but contentious to answer.

I Callahan said...

If it were that easy and lucrative, why aren't you in the public sector?

Not sure what this has to do with my comments, but I guess I'll try to answer. Care to expound?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@leslyn:

1. Government workers pay taxes.

Out of a salary paid by taxes. Net tax revenue per government worker: 0.

2. Government workers buy groceries, school clothes, cars, and pay tuition, and rent or buy homes. That's a significant contribution to the economy.

With money originally taken out of the economy as taxes. Net to the economy: (zero) - (administration costs).


3 Laid-off government workers collect unemployment like other unemployed workers, which is a drag on the economy.


Unemployment money is tax money, which government workers were originally being paid with. But now they are paid with less tax money than they were before. Net gain to the economy.

Leslynn cannot grasp where taxes come from. Every dime paid to a government worker was taken from a taxpayer. Every dime in taxes a government worker pays was taken from a taxpayer.

Leslynn's argument is exactly the same as saying that Daylight saving time gives more hours of sunlight by taking one from the morning and adding it in in the evening. It is mathematically illiterate.

Which is not to say that government workers are bad or worthless, but tax money cannot be used to create jobs, because it was taken from a taxpayer and hence already destroyed a job.

Brennan said...

AJ Lynch: Very interesting post. Care to share that with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal?

Chip: You are also correct. The MJS is just glossing over facts to support the arguments of Barret.

Hey, any MJS staffers sign those recall petitions?

Chip S. said...

tax money cannot be used to create jobs

This goes too far. Start with a world with no taxes and no government, and then raise taxes to pay for a legal system that protects property rights and enforces contracts. Result: More commerce.

Then build and maintain a highway system. Result: more commerce.

Now it's true that in every case it's possible to imagine provision by private firms, but it's easy to argue that these are cases of natural monopoly in which it is plausible that public provision can make us better off, provided that the tasks are performed with reasonable efficiency.

None of that means that governments don't become bloated and inefficient. But there's no need to make extreme claims.

leslyn said...

P.S Pogo, your headline about the Black Helicopters in your post of 11:52 was my favorite. I always enjoy stories about Black Helicopters.

Pogo said...

Not vanilla helicopters?

garage mahal said...

Not sure what this has to do with my comments, but I guess I'll try to answer. Care to expound?

Why are you in the private sector if the public sector is lucrative and the benefits so good? Pretty easy question I think.

Me: As an example, I would never work as a teacher for the shit pay they receive, even more so considering the amount of schooling it took.

Michael Haz said...

Wisconsin, especially Madison, often looks like Greece, with radical demonstrators demanding higher taxes and more government control over business. Would you start a business in Greece?

The WI Dems want to have it both ways. They want to hang Walker with job loss numbers, while voting against job creating legislation like the mining bill, so that they can blame Walker for job loss.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Chip S:Then build and maintain a highway system. Result: more commerce.

Only if no one would build or maintain highways otherwise. If goods are worth moving from place to place, someone will build a way to convey them there in order to make money.

If the government builds the road, and it is worth building, then a private citizen could have built it and made a profit. If the road is not worth building, then government shouldn't have built it. If the government does, people will use it of course, because it's free to THEM. The benefit is there for individuals, but the costs are spread over the taxpayers. That's crony capitalism.

Like leslynn, you are only counting some of the money in the cycle. You see the road and its benefits, but not what taxpayers gave up by building the road. Taxpayers would have spent their money on other things and the economy would have benefited more.

Of course people will insist what I wrote means that I must be opposed the building of roads, but people can't read.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

"But there's no need to make extreme claims."

Correct.

The optimal size of government is uncertain, but the provision of infrastructure and a sound court system to protect property rights is likely a small fraction of where we stand now.

Today we have a bloated state, now consuming almost half of the GDP; an army of Michael Moores.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@garageAs an example, I would never work as a teacher for the shit pay they receive, even more so considering the amount of schooling it took.


Saginaw Township teacher Terry List had hoped to retire in the next three years when she was 47 years old. That wouldn’t be possible under SB 1040. List would have to work another 16 years to be eligible for health benefits. “By the time I’m 60, I would have put in 43 years of service, earning a salary at the top of the pay scale. How does that save the district money? You could hire two people for the cost of one and encourage young people to join the profession. Right now, I would not recommend to my pupils to become a teacher in Michigan.

Teachers get more in pay and benefits than most people in the US, and lots of time off as well. There are many people who prefer security and benefits and summers to salary. Not to mention defined benefits that very people get anymore, and being extremely difficult to fire.

As for the schooling, not much to a masters in education but putting in the time. It doesn;t compare to a Ph.D. in physics, and many physics Ph.Ds make less than high school teachers.

Brennan said...

even more so considering the amount of schooling it took.

The amount of education needed to start teaching is about zero. The amount REQUIRED by way of collective bargaining and the government endorsed labor monopoly in public education from K-12 is quite a different story. Then again, those requirements are about constructing their own private market on the backs of property tax payers.

Chip S. said...

@Hanna--

Stick to physics.

Your focus on cash flows is stupid.

garage mahal said...

Teachers get more in pay and benefits than most people in the US, and lots of time off as well


What does that even mean? "More than most people", compared to what?

Calypso Facto said...

I wonder what percentage of the "lost" government jobs are from local governments who chose not to use Walker's Act 10 reforms by rushing to sign new collective bargaining agreements before the law took effect

43% of school district job losses occurred in just three districts-- Milwaukee, Madison, and Janesville-- where contracts were rushed through to avoid having to implement Act 10. That action apparently shielded their benefits so well it cost them their jobs.

Here's a Facebook testimonial from a Kenosha teacher:

The day before Spring Break is usually pretty exciting when you are a teacher. The kids are filled with Spring fever, travel plans are set and the weather is usually nice enough to take the time to do some much needed yard work. Last Friday started that way for me; that is, until I went to make copies and found a teacher in the hallway with tears streaming down her face. It turns out that layoff notices went out this morning. That morning? The day before break? Yes, the school district decided that today would be the best day to let teachers know that they will no longer have a job teaching students. I would like to say that I only found one teacher in tears; however, in my small school of 18 educators, 7 received layoff notices today. The most saddening of these were those handed out to a married couple who just had their first child. …

See, my district did not use Act 10. That’s because we are stuck with the union contract until June of 2013 and it would take the Jaws of Life to get us free. Although there were numerous meetings between the district and the union, no union concessions were ever made that could have saved the district millions of dollars and prevented many layoffs.

I Callahan said...

Why are you in the private sector if the public sector is lucrative and the benefits so good? Pretty easy question I think.

When I chose my career, I wasn't thinking about public vs. private. Most people don't. It isn't until they get ensconced in their professions that they do whatever they can to keep the pay and benefits from going down.

As for why I'm not changing now: I am in a career that the government doesn't need to many people (finance / data / IT). Also, you either have to know someone in the union, or have the correct skin color or gender to get most government jobs now.

All that aside, this doesn't even enter the same universe as the point I was trying to make, so I'll repeat:

Why should I have to take a paycut, pay higher costs for everything AND pay higher taxes just so government employees can exempt themselves from the laws of economics?

MartyH said...

Not sure where the WSJ got their data from, but it was not the current published BLS data (www.bls.gov/lau). If you look up WI, you will see that AJ is right-WI has gained 18,498 jobs from March 2011 to March 2012. If you assume that the WSJ got the number of public sector job losses (17,800) right, that would mean that WI has gained about 36,000 private sector jobs in the past year.

garage mahal said...


Why should I have to take a paycut, pay higher costs for everything AND pay higher taxes just so government employees can exempt themselves from the laws of economics?


Not sure what this means. You're taking a paycut in the private sector because of public employees?

ken in sc said...

People who think that government employment helps the economy would think that taking a bucket of water out of the deep end of a swimming pool and pouring in the shallow end, helps fill the pool.

Chip S. said...

@AJ and MartyH--Good catch.

The data you guys cite is for total employment of the civilian labor force.

The data being trumpeted today are from a BLS press release showing changes in nonfarm payroll employment. Kind of an important distinction in America's dairyland, no?

This seems like a good example of the politicization of government stats mentioned by Pogo upthread.

Calypso Facto said...

So ... a net 18,000 jobs added in the civilian labor force Mar '11 - Mar '12 and 18,000 government jobs reduced during that period = a real increase of 36,000 private sector jobs during the year. Nice!

leslyn said...

Calypso Facto said...
"So ... a net 18,000 jobs added in the civilian labor force Mar '11 - Mar '12 and 18,000 government jobs reduced during that period = a real increase of 36,000 private sector jobs during the year. Nice!

4/25/12 2:20 PM"

I think you would have add a problem in addition and subtraction in school. The net comes out to zero.

AJ Lynch said...

Brennan:

Sure - the MSJ is free to do what I did or borrow the data I found on the BLS website. It took me about two minutes and I was simply seeking to refute Garbage's claim yesterday which he apparently got from this MSJ bullshit story.

I had looked at Garbage's purported fact-based evidence and saw only one state with negative numbers [Wisconsin] and that jumped out at me as a sign of bad dope. So, I looked up the data myself.

I doubt the reporter, who is undoubtedly a lib, will want to correct his story. God, I hate libs- does it show? Heh.

leslyn said...

Duh.

"The main effect of this is that significant layoff of government workers in a short period of time is a negative shock to the economy."

What was it about "significant layoff" and "short period of time" that you chose to ignore?

Original Mike said...

Seems to me Calypso got his numbers right, leslyn. Maybe I'm missing something.

I Callahan said...

Not sure what this means. You're taking a paycut in the private sector because of public employees?

The economy is a mess. Because of this, businesses have to cut costs, so they lay people off, cut their benefits, cut their salaries, etc., so they can still remain profitable enough to survive.

The only way to continue paying the benefits that government employees want, is to raise taxes, which in turn hurts the economy even more.

Therefore, my salary is cut, my benefits are cut, and if it were up to government employees, my taxes will go up.

Why is this fair?

MartyH said...

leslyn-

Check your math. You missed a minus sign somewhere.

MadisonMan said...

43% of school district job losses occurred in just three districts-- Milwaukee, Madison, and Janesville-- where contracts were rushed through to avoid having to implement Act 10. That action apparently shielded their benefits so well it cost them their jobs.

I am not aware (Haven't looked, but haven't heard, either) of Madison teachers being laid off. They did vote through concessions saving $10M earlier this year.

sane_voter said...

leslyn said
I think you would have add a problem in addition and subtraction in school. The net comes out to zero.

If the overall net job gain is 18,000 and the public sector lost 18,000 jobs, then the private sector must have gained 36,000 jobs. 36,000 + (-18,000) = 18,000

How did you pass the 4th grade?

AJ Lynch said...

Prez Obama, Slow joe and most Dems claim many thousands of govt layoffs of cops, teachers and firemen in the last 4 years so I wonder if they could supply me with an honest count of how many teachers, cops and firemen have been layed off in the last 4 years?

MartyH said...

If this really is based on non-farm employment, then the story needs to be rewritten and a correction published.

For example, this sentence is flat out wrong, because it ignores farmers completely: "Taking just private-sector employment - the economic indicator that Walker stressed in his 2010 campaign - Wisconsin has lost 6,100 jobs in the past 12 months, which is also the most of any state."

While we're at it. let's remove autoworkers from employment data for Michigan, and finanical workers from New York's employment data, and energy workers from Louisiana's data, and health care workers from Florida's data...

Scott M said...

...and Working Girls from Nevada...

Chip S. said...

Here are the gory details for nonfarm vs. total employment:

From March 2011 through March 2012, Wisconsin's
nonfarm
payroll employment fell from 2,705,000 to 2,675,000 (not seasonally adjusted; March 2012 data are preliminary.)

Of those 30,000 jobs, 18,000 were in the public sector.

(Seasonally adjusted data show a job loss of 24,000, of which 19,000 were government jobs.)

Over the same 12 months, total civilian employment (seasonally unadjusted) rose from 2,798,000 to 2,819,000: a gain of 21,000 jobs. The seasonally adjusted figures show an increase from 2,838,000 to 2,856,600: a gain of 18,600 jobs.

To me, it seems better to use seasonally-unadjusted data for March-to-March comparisons. Those are, after all, the actual figures.

So the gain in private-sector employment in Wisconsin between March 2011 and March 2012 has actually been about 39,000 jobs.

I don't blame the WSJ reporter, who was only printing a BLS press release. But a clarifying follow-up story is definitely called for.

The BLS press release belongs in the "accurate but fake" category.

Rusty said...

Me: As an example, I would never work as a teacher for the shit pay they receive, even more so considering the amount of schooling it took.



Depends entirely on the school district.

Pogo said...

Thanks, Chip.

See, just like i said.
You can't trust the BLS.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@garage mahal:

"What does that even mean? "More than most people", compared to what?"

More. Than. Most. People.

Consult a dictionary if you don't understand the hard words.

US median personal income: about $29,000 / year.

US median teacher income: about $44,000 per year.

"Median income" means "50% or fewer make this". 50% of teachers make more than $44,000, and 50% of Americans make less than $29,000.

So, most teachers make more than most people.

Big Mike said...

Before I get too excited I'd like to know exactly how the job loss numbers are calculated. Is there a net loss of jobs? Some left-of-center economists report only jobs lost, not jobs created minus jobs lost.

The possibility that the net is positive is an alternate explanation for why Wisconsin's unemployment dropped over 10%.

Big Mike said...

Oops. Missed your post, Chip. I guess I was right.

Unknown said...

even more so considering the amount of schooling it took.

The amount of education needed to start teaching is about zero. The amount REQUIRED by way of collective bargaining and the government endorsed labor monopoly in public education from K-12 is quite a different story.


My mother taught in a one room school house. She was immensely proud of the 95 percent literacy rate that was not uncommon across the nation before schools were unionized.

Unknown said...

----As an example, I would never work as a teacher for the shit pay they receive, even more so considering the amount of schooling it took.


Odd, I am one of Obama's rich folk but when I try to plan a retirement without a pension at all I often wonder if I made a poor decision not becoming a government drone.

The answer to my lack of a pension is for me to save like crazy, but instead I get taxed like crazy. So that people who

-do have pensions
-who work several weeks fewer per year than I do
-who have tenure so will never be laid off or downsized
-who have the non-monetary rewards of seeing young people grow and achieve
-who can retire several years before I can

don't have to contribute to them.

As for those teachers who work in inner city schools. God Bless em. But how much better would the schools be if the unions agitated for workplace safety and discipline instead of protecting ineffectual teachers and even worse those that have criminal behavior?

Oh and on the topic of jobs are we tracking declining enrollments in schools against the decline in teaching positions?