Governor Walker’s administration has put out its own figures showing that Wisconsin gained around 23,000 public-and-private jobs during 2011. State officials say the information comes directly from employers so it’s more accurate than upcoming federal data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which will show Wisconsin lost roughly 34,000 jobs last year.
“It looks like 160,000 Wisconsin employers helped show us the thousands of new jobs that BLS estimates missed last year,” state Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson said. “The bottom line is Wisconsin added jobs in 2011.”
The camp of Tom Barrett, Walker’s Democratic opponent, says the administration is trying to cook the books using “unverified” numbers on the eve of the June recall election.
Barrett Campaign Communication Director Phil Walzak says “since these regular, trusted numbers clearly show that Wisconsin leads the nation in jobs loss on his watch, Walker is desperate to distract from his worst-in-the-country jobs record.”
The Walker administration is also touting a presentation by the chief economist at the state Department of Revenue which questions the BLS methodology. Meanwhile, some major financial publications have their own take on the state’s reporting.