MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin was among
28 states losing manufacturing jobs in 2016 and the state continues
to trail the national rate of overall job creation, according to new
figures released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Labor
Wisconsin lost nearly 3,800 manufacturing jobs from December 2015 to
December 2016, a decrease of nearly 1 percent, according to the
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wage Data. Wisconsin's decline
was far steeper than the national average in the factory sector,
which was essentially flat in 2016, a Milwaukee newspaper reported.
Wisconsin gained more than 11,500 private-sector jobs in 2016, an
increase of 0.5 percent. That ranks Wisconsin 33rd among the 50
states for that period. The figures show the United States created
private-sector jobs at a rate of 1.3 percent in the latest 12-month
period, more than double Wisconsin's increase.
Wisconsin has trailed the national rate of overall job creation
since July 2011. Among Midwestern peer states, Wisconsin ranked
behind Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio in
overall job growth and ahead of Illinois and Iowa, according to the
The 2016 figures were the worst for Wisconsin since the current
expansion began after the severe 2008 recession and were the worst
of the six years since Republican Gov. Scott Walker took office in
Walker's administration touted Wisconsin's unemployment rate of 3.2
percent in April 2017, the lowest since February 2000.
"It's important to look at all economic indicators to understand the
true picture of Wisconsin's economy, and the economic indicators
overwhelmingly point to stable and steady growth in jobs, wages and
the economy over the past six years," Wisconsin Department of
Workforce Development Secretary Ray Allen said in a statement
But Democratic legislative leaders seized on the report to criticize
Walker, who is up for re-election next year.
"I don't understand how Walker and the Republican legislature can
look at these facts and praise each other for their successes. It's
time for a bold plan to jumpstart the economy," Assembly Minority
Leader Peter Barca said in a news release.