Letter from Rep. Danou: Job numbers are worst in the NationFor years, Wisconsin has usually been reflective of national job growth and loss trends.
By: Rep. Chris Danou, Pierce County Herald
For years, Wisconsin has usually been reflective of national job growth and loss trends. That means our unemployment and new jobs created numbers follow what is going on in other states around the country. After witnessing this trend for some time now, I’ve generally had the inclination, that “as goes the nation, so goes Wisconsin.” When things look good at the national level, things look good in Wisconsin. However, according to a recent report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, that saying no longer applies to our great state.
From March 2011 to March 2012, Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state in the country, a decrease of 0.9%, or a total of 23,900 jobs. While 27 states and the District of Columbia witnessed “significant” job growth, Wisconsin stood alone with “significant” job loss. While the nation as a whole has added jobs for 18 months in a row, Wisconsin on the other hand leads the nation in job loss.
Here are some policy examples that have led Wisconsin in the wrong direction:
Cutting necessary aid to job and skill training programs: This reduces our ability to build a skilled workforce. This is basic supply and demand: if a state supplies highly skilled and properly trained workers, companies will set up operations where they have access to the workforce they demand.
Slashing public education: This brings school quality down. As a result our state becomes a less attractive place for people to work and live.
Cutting taxes for those with the most wealth: This reduces the state’s capacity to invest in a sound infrastructure. In order to attract and retain commerce, a state needs reliable transportation and communication networks that encourages the flow of commerce and a high quality of life.
Rejecting federal money: This doesn’t send it back to the Treasury. Instead, the money intended for our state goes to other states that are able to make a gain from our loss. Most importantly, this act takes away opportunities for our state to create jobs and invest in 21st century priorities that get our economy back on track.
We are fortunate to have access to this data. This information provides a clear image to what has gone on in Wisconsin for the past year. Now, by analyzing and understanding the information given to us, we need to regroup and do the things that actually work and give us the chance to change direction and move forward.
Do we want our state to be a great place to live and work? Historically, Wisconsin has been known for great schools and a high quality of life for all its citizens. If we want Wisconsin to continue to be a great place to work, live and a raise a family, we need to look at the policies we have pursued over the past year and ask; have they been working for Wisconsin? Clearly, these policies are not working.