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Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013

Issue of the Week: Scott Walker’s Weak Job-Creation Record Continues

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Gov. Scott Walker has been spending most of his time out of state lately as he peddles his new book and attempts to portray himself as a serious contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

We’ll assume that he’s enjoying the attention, as he always does.

But we’re absolutely certain that Walker isn’t trying to draw attention to the new jobs numbers released last week. A very weak 23,968 private-sector jobs were created in Wisconsin between June 2012 and June 2013, far less than the 37,959 jobs that were created in the previous 12 months—and that was weak, too.

As we all know, Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs in his four-year term.

And when that started looking unlikely, he quickly backpedaled and changed his promise, saying that once his agenda was fully implemented, then jobs would follow.

When he actually is working for the people of Wisconsin and not actively campaigning for president, Walker has focused most of his job-creating attention on the manufacturing sector. But those efforts are failing also. The new jobs numbers actually show that 119 manufacturing jobs were lost in the 12 months under review. The public sector lost a whopping 8,173 jobs, too, and more than cancels out the 5,274 construction jobs created. But Walker doesn’t believe that government jobs like teaching and firefighting are “real” jobs, so this likely doesn’t bother him. He and his billionaire campaign contributors probably welcome those job losses.

Walker’s austerity-style budget and “free-market” agenda aren’t working. Thus far, he’s only created an estimated 88,000 jobs since taking office and will need a miracle to make good on his 2010 campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs.

Before he took office, Wisconsin’s job climate was consistently better than the national average. Now, the Badger State’s economy has slumped compared to our neighboring states. It’s too soon to tell how these new jobs numbers stack up against the rest of the country, but if history is any guide, Wisconsin’s economy will continue to underperform. Will the voters hold Walker accountable for failing at his most important task of building a strong economy?