Report: State Job Growth Better Than Anticipated
By Patrick Lynn
Last Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Economic Development and Local Government held a joint hearing with the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Mining to discuss economic indicators in Wisconsin. The findings were better than many anticipated.
According to Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and John Koskinen, Chief Economist for the Department of Revenue, job growth in the state is heading in the right direction.
Despite a more bleak picture in 2010 when Wisconsin lost over 150k jobs, Newson said the state is now adding jobs.
Koskinen gave testimony before the joint panel, using a power point presentation which showed that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was previously using second quarter data which was no accurate. The revised system reviewed nine months of information instead of only six, and with the revisions, Koskinen explained that in 2011 and 2012 Wisconsin had actually gained jobs, which is in contrast to the previous reports.
According to the Department of Revenue data, Wisconsin has consistently had a lower unemployment than the national average. Koskinen also said unemployment claims are now back to pre-recession levels, and information used to rank Wisconsin 44th in job growth by the BLS is outdated.
“The revisions that we are speaking to were the revisions by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are not a product of Wisconsin,” Koskinen said.