The Democratic challenger in the recall race for governor is raising questions about new data from the Department of Workforce development that show the state added jobs last year. The numbers released Tuesday indicate the state added over 23,000 jobs in 2011.
The figures are based on a census of Wisconsin public and private sector employees, rather than the currently available statistics that come from on a monhtly sampling of employers to estimate job growth or loss. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is not expected to release its verified census results until late June, several weeks after Governor Walker faces a recall election.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who is challenging Walker in the recall, says the report from DWD is based on an unverified source of information that will remain unconfirmed until after the recall election takes place.
Barrett says Walker was happy to use the federal job statistics when they showed Wisconsin gaining jobs early last year, but now wants to rewrite the rules because massive job losses could hurt his chances of surviving the recall. Barrett says Walker is “desperate to distract from his worst in the country job records” in an attempt to “mask his economic failure” 20 days before an election.
Barrett and fellow Democrats also raised questions Wednesday about why the jobs information was being released at the same time a new campaign ad from Governor Walker went on the air using the data. The Milwaukee mayor says it’s a clear example of Walker using taxpayer resources to help him campaign.
Walker’s administration denied the release of the data was motivated by politics or the upcoming recall.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:10)