Here's Gov. Walker back in December, whistling in the dark...
Wisconsin is the only state that's been bleeding jobs for a straight six months, and the Walker administration is truly puzzled. Gov. Walker followed every single recommendation in the Wingnut Book of Corporate Wishes, resulting in a huge pile of manure, and yet he still can't find the free market pony. If only there was something he could do to change things - you know, things like go back in time and not lay off all those teachers and public workers whose spending helped stimulate the economy:
"The rest of the nation is moving upwards. We're one of the few states moving downward. There's something wrong," said economist Steven Deller of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The United States as a whole has added private-sector jobs 23 months in a row, including almost a half million jobs in the past two months.
But Wisconsin has been moving in the opposite direction, a trend that not only threatens Gov. Scott Walker's campaign promise but could cloud any message of economic renewal as the state heads into an all-but-certain recall election this summer.
An analysis of jobs data shows that Wisconsin lags the nation in a number of ways that reflect grimly on its economy:
Wisconsin has lost more private-sector jobs (an estimated 27,700) than any state in the country since the middle of last year (July through December), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only one other state, Missouri, is close, losing about 19,000 jobs in that stretch.
Although the state added more than 41,000 private-sector jobs in the first half of 2011, losses in the second half of the year have wiped out most of those gains, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Walker declined an interview request, but he and his administration have painted a much brighter economic picture than these numbers suggest.
"Governor Walker's policies have helped turn Wisconsin around," said his communications director, Chris Schrimpf.