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Walker Job Numbers Called Into Question

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel obtained a slideshow showing Gov. Scott Walker received information that job data released over the summer, days before a special election, was questionable.

Gov. Scott Walker's administration may have inflated job numbers over the summer, just days before a special election to recall Republican senators, according to a story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Walker held a press conference in July announcing 9,500 new jobs in Wisconsin - a remarkable number considering the entire country created 18,000 jobs in July. 

The newspaper obtained a report from the state labor department calling the results "very questionable." 

4 Greenfield December 05, 2011 at 03:21 PM
What ever happened to "fact-checking"? I am so sick of reading gross exaggerations, inaccurate claims or out and out false statements by all political campaigns. Even worse are the many "news" articles or so-called "news" media reports that simply repeat as "fact" the false campaign claims. How are any of us to make educated decisions about the candidates?
Chris Larsen December 05, 2011 at 03:31 PM
Heather, what would your headline have read if Sturtevant would have turned Ruud down, and those 469 new jobs, plus all existing jobs left the area? Tax credits is a great tool for a small Village like ours to attract and keep businesses, which we have been able to do well in this "down" economy. I don't see that as a "problem", but a solution.
Dirk December 05, 2011 at 04:07 PM
I can only hope the leftist media uses this same type of scrutiny towards the inevitable bogus recall signatures. I highly doubt it though......
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) December 05, 2011 at 05:44 PM
I just don't like the game-playing, is really what I'm saying. Jobs are created because there's a need, not because government offers a tax credit. Washington, Madison and Sturtevant can offer all the tax credits they want, but if there isn't a need, the jobs won't happen. Don't get me wrong - I think Sturtevant, the County and the State did the right thing to keep the jobs here. I just don't like that it was a game of who's package would be bigger and/or better, pitting one state against another.
Heather Rayne Geyer December 05, 2011 at 06:04 PM
Campaign promise of 250,000 new jobs. Claimed 9500 new jobs in July. In November, Wisconsin leads the nation in job losses. Seems simple to me.
Dustin Block December 05, 2011 at 07:32 PM
NPR's 'This American Life' had a good story on how little impact government can have on job creation.
Denise Lockwood December 05, 2011 at 07:39 PM
DB -- Here's the link: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/435/how-to-create-a-job Compelling stuff...
Dustin Block December 05, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Of course the media will be on the validity of the recall signatures ... it's a huge story with major implications for the state.
Chris Larsen December 05, 2011 at 08:12 PM
There is a huge difference between the impact State and Federal government can have over jobs (which is little to nil) and what a county or local level can have. Attracting and keeping business is a vital part of the local unit of government.
Michael December 05, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Amen Dirk. It's about time someone in our state starts holding the media accountable for providing thoroughly researched data and facts prior to reporting to the general public. Also, they need to start reporting unbiased opinions that are overwhelming skewed to the left.
Michael December 05, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Is there a point here or are you mimicking the liberal media with your assumptions and left leaning bias
James R Hoffa December 05, 2011 at 08:26 PM
The current Republican platform is that government shouldn't be in the business of creating jobs to fill an employment need, but rather to create an environment in which private sector business can effectively compete in the global market place and flourish. And although tax credits, loan guarantees, and subsidies may seem like an anti-free market / anti-capitalistic way of going about creating such an environment, the reality of the situation is that they are effective - especially with un-skilled manufacturing jobs. The reason these methods work so well is because taxes effect a business's bottom line which aides a business in accomplishing the ultimate purpose of any business venture - to maximize profit. It’s also the reality of both our domestic and global market economies that if we aren't willing to offer up some sort of governmental incentive for business (jobs), some government somewhere will. That's the simple reality of the situation. Ruud is a great recent and local example. That’s the reality, however unfortunate. That’s why instead of all these stop-gap band-aide measures, we need real reforms! Walker’s next big reform should be focused on the state tax code.
James R Hoffa December 05, 2011 at 08:47 PM
@HRG - First off, the campaign promise was for a full four-year effective term. Walker's barely done with his first year, and you already want to judge him on this promise? Not to mention the fact that much of his time in office was met with extreme resistance via the Capitol protests, the Dems fleeing the state, frivolous lawsuits, recall elections, etc. So, in all fairness and reality, the man has probably had an effective 6 months of actual governance at best. Also, isn't it a bit hypocritical the way you use the term "claimed," to preface the job creation numbers from July, but don't use this same qualifier when referring to the job losses number - despite both sets of numbers coming from the same suspect source using the same suspect and inaccurate/incomplete/inconclusive methodology? Not to mention the FACT that by those very same numbers, the state is still ahead by "20,100 net new private-sector jobs added since Walker took office in January." At least be fair when applying your critique of equally weighted and credible evidence. Otherwise, you're allowing your partisanship to get in the way of logic and reality, which greatly diminishes the credibility of your conclusions.
Ben Hogan December 05, 2011 at 09:20 PM
James@ I couldn't have stated it any better. The anti- Walker crowd needs to also realize that the endless lawsuits and recalls are not helping to attract businesses that might otherwise be looking to expand in Wisconsin. They need to make smart business decisions in order to survive. If they are going to drop investments and roots here they would like to see some stability rather than the current political nightmare in this state. Governor Walker can meet with business owners and try to convince them of his vision for the state but when they turn on the tv and see thousands of nut jobs sleeping at the Capital, they might prefer to wait and see if we are going to get another anti- business Governor back in Madison.
Morninmist Same December 05, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Ben Lighten up. the kids will be happy. spsenski Steven P. Senski Remember: Tomorrow is St. Nickolaus Day, when children in Waukesha County awaken to find ballots in their shoes. #recallwalker
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) December 05, 2011 at 11:50 PM
@JRH - you and I are going to beat this drum, I promise, until someone does something about the state tax code!
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) December 05, 2011 at 11:54 PM
@Chris - I think you're right about the differences in impact. The incentives offered Ruud made a real and immediate difference; by next fall there will be new employees working in that addition. All told, at least 469 people will find work as a result. That is awesome. What we need is more measurement to really see how these packages work so tax credits/incentives are more targeted to produce/attract the jobs as designed.
Resident of O.C. Paul December 06, 2011 at 05:18 AM
Government cannot force companies to create jobs if they (the companies) don't sell the products they make or distribute. Government can only offer incentives to companies to operate in their country, state, county and/or city. And offering tax credits is not an answer when companies have a hard time competing with foreign countries where the workers wages are cheaper, and jobs are leaving because of this, remember lost jobs take away from the income and sales tax base...that is: people not working cannot buy what they used to buy, and not just the former workers belts have to be tightened, but the belts of the country, state, county, and city have to be tightened too, and spending on major projects and new public facilities should be curtailed unless absolutely needed until that tax base has been restored. Also this country has been very charitable to other countries when it comes to financial aid, putting them before it's own citizens that have paid taxes, and expect that money to be used here at home first, that are in need of financial help; it also helps illegal immigrants, and those here on visas before it helps a full fledged citizen. Then it bails out businesses that have foolishly gave money away to their management in the form of big bonuses money that could have gone to keeping that company financially sound. And to get back to the subject...How many jobs have been lost in Wisconsin since Walker became Governor compared to how many have been created?...
Jay December 06, 2011 at 07:18 AM
Heather while I agree that supply and demand do generally run the market, right now that is not so much the case. Right now workers are being over worked, production from our workers is at an all time high. That sounds good and in some respects it is, but it also means that companies have plenty of work to be done and they are just relying on less people to do it to try and make some cash back from the recession. Only problem is you really ruin the workforce when you strain it so much like has been seen over the last year.
Jay December 06, 2011 at 07:27 AM
God I get tired of the claims about the left media, the media is run by the right. Please read a book written by a republican called the Republican money maker. They own almost all the media.
ja December 06, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Can vivian ever find anything positive to report from the journal? This patch is very one sided like channel 4, 6 and 12...this is why Wisconsin is grossly misinformed.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) December 06, 2011 at 02:45 PM
@Jay - I hear you! I think I remember watching a TV news report not too long ago (ABC?) that said it has been decades since the American worker has had this big of a work load without a corresponding wage. So yes, there are jobs out there that aren't necessarily "new," I agree.
Nudy Newton December 06, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Republicans not only didn't learn from Watergate, they actually admired it, and have tirelessly developed secret government ever since, including the art of "Plausible deniability," first coined by Reagan. Republicans fervently believe in secret government.
oak creek resident December 06, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Morningmist: that's right, impregnate the mind of your kids with your liberal propaganda. You make Mao, Hitler, and Castro proud.
James R Hoffa December 06, 2011 at 07:16 PM
@Heather A. - Don't you know it! It's such an obvious, I don't know why no one is willing to tackle this. Do you think all of the politicians have been bought off by the tax attorney lobby?
James R Hoffa December 06, 2011 at 07:21 PM
@Nudy - Yeah, and the Democrats are totally different. Obama promised and campaigned on having the most transparent administration in the history of our nation. And yet, his signature piece of legislation, Obamacare, was largely hammered out behind closed doors in secret. Anyone who wants to recall Walker because of his alleged non-disclosures during his campaign regarding public sector union collective bargaining privileges should also want to see Obama impeach for perpetrating a fraud upon the American people during his campaign, right? Don't be a partisan hack!
James R Hoffa December 06, 2011 at 07:31 PM
@Resident of O.C. Paul - You raise many valid points, however, there is little that state governments can do regarding foreign competition/trade - as such falls largely within the purview of the federal government. And it doesn't help the situation when we have a President who's pushing for 'made in the U.S.A' during his jobs speech while only a couple months earlier ordering his motorcade tour busses from Canada instead of giving the multi-million dollar contract to American based Thomas Built or Bluebird, does it? How many jobs could Obama have kept here instead of giving our tax dollars and jobs to a foreign competitor? Obama = do as I say, but not as I do = HYPOCRITE!!! To answer your question, as you must have missed my earlier post, Wisconsin is still ahead in job creation by a "net 20,100 net new private-sector jobs added since Walker took office in January" according to the official numbers sanctioned by both the state and federal government.
Bren December 07, 2011 at 01:15 AM
Jay, I agree. Who owns the gigantor media conglomerates? Multinational corporations. People who watch Fox are being spoon fed Australian Rupert Murdoch's (News Corp) far right political views. News Corp in the U.K. is being investigated for hacking into crime victim and celebrities' cell phones and there could well be the same here. I can't imagine U.S. Fox viewers have been told this. This is why I read international papers. A lot of information is sanitized or withheld from the American public. They rely on us to be lazy. So please Dirk, don't believe for a moment that the U.S. media is "leftist." It takes a lot of cash to run a media empire.
mau December 07, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Why are tax credits bad but stimulus packages are good?
CowDung December 07, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Businesses also have a choice to make when they expand to create new positions. The expanded facility can be built in Wisconsin, or they can be built somewhere else. If tax incentives cause more jobs to be created in Wisconsin instead of somewhere else, I think that is a good thing and well worth it.

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