Wisconsin Job Creation Continues to lag under Walker, Republicans

September 15, 2016

vw-chattanooga-e1391473102460By Urban MediaStaff

Two recent reports underscore the continued failure of Scott Walker and the Republican controlled

legislature to waken Wisconsin’s stagnant economy from its slumber.

Economists agree that start-up businesses are the key drivers of new job creation. Last month the Ewing

Marion Kauffman Foundation released their annual state rankings of start-up activity and found that for

the second year in a row, Wisconsin ranked dead last, 50 th out of 50 states.

On the heels of that report came new job numbers that showed Wisconsin once again trailing the

national rate of job creation. Since July, 2011 – six months into Governor Scott Walker’s term –

Wisconsin has trailed the national job creation rate. The latest numbers show Wisconsin ranks 33 rd in the

nation in job creation.

The ranking of 33 rd in the country is according to the most reliable measure of job creation, which

Governor Walker has referred to in the past as the “gold standard” of jobs numbers. In the wake of the

latest dismal numbers on the economic front, Mr. Walker has failed once again to take accountability for

the state’s struggling economy.

This summer, Democrats in the state legislature called for a Jobs Summit and Emergency session of the

legislature to address job creation. Governor Walker and the Republican controlled legislature declined

to convene the state’s elected officials to deal with the jobs crisis.

Democrats have proposed a package of bills intended to boost job creation and improve wages. Among

the proposals were action on student loan debt relief and measures to make childcare more affordable

for working families. Either measure would inject valuable dollars into the household budgets of working

families that would be spent and spur economic activity.

Other measures supported by Democrats included an increase in the minimum wage, which would drive

up wages even among those making more than the minimum wage, and to connect workers with

available jobs.

Rather than consider these common sense proposals that have broad support among the public,

Republicans in Madison pushed through so-called “right to work” legislation that makes it easier for big

business and those at the top to profit at the expense of workers.

Instead of taking action on those proposals, Republicans rushed through policies including so-called

“Right to Work” and changes to the prevailing wage that will further harm working families in Wisconsin.

For families struggling to make ends meet years after the Great Recession, the inaction by state

Republicans is not only frustrating, it is another barrier to the opportunity for prosperity that is at the

very heart of the American dream.