Walker points to new survey showing net gain of 33K jobs in first year

posted at 12:41 pm on May 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

As people often say, there are lies, damned lies, and … statistics.  We deal with jobs-related data on a regular basis, but the collation and promulgation of the final numbers are sometimes a mystery to people.  The Current Employment Survey, for instance, is basically a poll with a fairly large sample, and from that we get most of our demographic information on employment and unemployment, as well as the overall jobless rate.  A separate survey, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, focuses on payrolls and tends to be much more inclusive but give a lot less demographic data.

None of this would be terribly interesting under normal circumstances except to data geeks like myself, but it’s about to become a big issue in the Wisconsin recall:

In an unusual effort to rebut bad news on the jobs front, the Walker administration is speeding up release of new numbers showing job gains rather than job losses in Wisconsin last year.

The numbers come from a source familiar to many economists but one that hasn’t figured until now in the state’s highly politicized jobs debate heading into the June 5 recall election: the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

The new figures, provided to the Journal Sentinel on Tuesday, cover the final three months of 2011.

State officials said they show a gain of 23,321 jobs (public and private) between December 2010 and December 2011, which represents Gov. Scott Walker’s first full year in office.

That stands in sharp contrast to a commonly used and widely reported monthly jobs measure, the Current Employment Survey, which earlier this year showed an estimated loss of 33,900 jobs in Wisconsin for the same 12-month period.

Barrett’s campaign is accusing Walker of cherry-picking data and playing politics by accelerating the publication of the CEW results.  However, the accusation of cherry-picking is nonsense.  The CEW is an actual census of employers in the state, not a survey based on a sample of households.  Businesses in the private sector are required by tax law to share payroll records with federal and state governments, which makes this census much more reliable than the CES. The CES is more useful because it reports on a monthly basis rather than quarterly and includes much more detail on demographics, and while the long-standing survey technique makes it reliable for trend indicators, it would never be as accurate as a census.

Even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel admits this, albeit a few more paragraphs into the story:

The other numbers, from the Quarterly Census, tell a more positive story, one the Walker administration is in a hurry to get out. They are based on a jobs count, not a survey. Each state gathers the quarterly census data from virtually all employers in both the public and private sectors, which are mandated to share staff and wage data as part of their tax and unemployment insurance reports. That makes it a more reliable source of employment data, state officials and many economists say.

As far as playing politics by speeding the release of the numbers, well, that’s an arguable point, with a double edge to it.  Does Barrett really want to argue that voters should be left in the dark on the true status of the economy in Wisconsin when they go to the polls in three weeks?  That’s an odd position to take, although considering his own track record as mayor of Milwaukee, perhaps an understandable one.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin seems to have a crime wave breaking out, as a series of fires in Fox Point all have one thing in common (via Katie Pavlich):

Vandals are torching pro-Walker yard signs, and now homeowners and neighbors are worried the crimes could escalate.

Someone set fire to at least five Walker campaign signs here in Fox Point.

Jamie Schumaker came out of his Fox Point home to get the paper Sunday morning to find his small Governor Walker campaign sign reduced to ashes, a sign he put up just the day before. …

The Fox Point Police Department said they’ve had several complaints of burned Walker signs and in response, they plan to put out extra patrols.

Classy to the end, this recall will be.


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Burning yard signs will not endear these thugs to the public.

pat on May 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Classy to the end, this recall will be.

indeed

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

humpbot on standby

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

You almost have to worry more if the unions lose. That’s when they get really nasty, and violent.

RBMN on May 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Go walker

AH_C on May 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

It’s funny, I live in liberalville just north of Milwaukee, and although I see a lot of recall Walker yard signs, I’ve yet to see one single Tom Barrett sign.

Either he’s too cheap to pay for his own signs or people really don’t give a darn about Barrett. Doesn’t speak much for the Dems’ enthsiasm.

WisRich on May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Walker needs to get Dale Peterson up there to take care of the yard sign vandals.

Mark1971 on May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Democrats lie, they lie all the time.

jukin3 on May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Vandals are torching pro-Walker yard signs, and now homeowners and neighbors are worried the crimes could escalate.

This is a real mystery who would be burning Scott Walker yard signs……let’s see, where is the local union headquarters located in relation to Fox Point SNARK.

Dr Evil on May 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM

WisRich on May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

That is how it is in Madison too. There are more Kloppenberg signs than Barrett signs up downtown. No enthusiasm for him as a candidate.

sammypants on May 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Why does the Left hate free speech and diversity of thought?

visions on May 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Walker needs to get Dale Peterson up there to take care of the yard sign vandals.

Mark1971 on May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Indeed he does!

vegconservative on May 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

New sign idea: “I’m On Fire for Walker”

Uncledave on May 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Unions are 180 degrees off from a free, capitalistic country and economy.

They had their place at one time, but then, so did passenger pidgeons and dodo birds. It’s time for unions to exit, stage left.

BTW, barack sucks.

DuctTapeMyBrain on May 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Seiu jobs – Fox Point, WI

Nothing about hiring to burn yard signs. I will keep scanning, the help wanted maybe they posted it on Craigslist LOL!

Dr Evil on May 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Walker needs to get Dale Peterson up there to take care of the yard sign vandals.

Mark1971 on May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Heh…I thought the same thing.

visions on May 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Classy to the end, this recall will be.

End well, it will not.

Chip on May 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Maybe Walker should point to all the teachers and other public service union workers who still have jobs but were facing layoffs before.

crosspatch on May 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

visions on May 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

dissent is not patriotic

cmsinaz on May 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM

As far as playing politics by speeding the release of the numbers, well, that’s an arguable point, with a double edge to it.

Hey, Walker’s got to keep ahead of the lies and distortions somehow. And the best way is to use the truth.

And if Barrett is worried about Walker “speeding the release of the numbers”, why doesn’t he look in the mirror(along with his dem and union buddies) and rethink this recall, to which they say, “Wisconsin can’t wait.” Why the rush, boys?

We know why.

Sterling Holobyte on May 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Unions are 180 degrees off from a free, capitalistic country and economy.

They had their place at one time, but then, so did passenger pidgeons and dodo birds. It’s time for unions to exit, stage left.

BTW, barack sucks.

DuctTapeMyBrain on May 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

But I’m told by my Leftist friends that if unions disappear we will return to child labor, indentured servitude, and 100 hour work weeks…

visions on May 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

How odd Fox Point is slightly North of Milwaukee Wisconsin -didn’t the Millwaukee teacher’s Unions throw a tizzy over losing collective bargaining?

Dr Evil on May 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

So how do those statewide numbers stack up against the inner city s**thole of Milwaukee?

MNHawk on May 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Why does the Left hate free speech and diversity of thought?

visions on May 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Leftist only believe in such things when it their speech and their diversity of thought.

On Liberty, Is the Left’s incessant war.

Chip on May 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

It’s funny, I live in liberalville just north of Milwaukee, and although I see a lot of recall Walker yard signs, I’ve yet to see one single Tom Barrett sign.

WisRich on May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I’ve seen one Barrett sign. Same yard that has an Obama sign up. Go figure.

Sterling Holobyte on May 16, 2012 at 1:02 PM

This is why the unions and the `Rat Party are in a panic over Walker.

What he did in Wisconsin is the BIGGEST threat to them since right to work laws.

Even greater, in fact.

If Walker succeeds in Wisconsin, with the coming fiasco that is coming in ALL states, this is the END OF PEU’s and their money laundering scheme which AUTOMATICALLY converts a fixed percentage of all government spending into involuntary campaign contributions to democRats.

This will eventually even spread to places like California. They will HAVE to implement Walker type reforms or face armed revolts if they try to extract more taxes from their citizens…

wildcat72 on May 16, 2012 at 1:03 PM

MADISON — Milwaukee Public Schools faces some hard fiscal times ahead.

Milwaukee teachers union blasted by brethren in concessions bill.

Dr Evil on May 16, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I don’t believe the union thugs have figured out, if you keep burning lawn signs you do nothing but bring out more voters to vote against you. The unions, in Wisconsin, have made fools of themselves, with their behavior, and I’m sure the voters realize that, if they support Walker with real enthusiasm, the unions are going to have to back off.

It’s really a shame there are no adults in the Democratic Party, because it didn’t have to come to this. I believe, when history is written, the demise of the Democratic Party will begin in Wisconsin.

bflat879 on May 16, 2012 at 1:05 PM

How odd Fox Point is slightly North of Milwaukee Wisconsin -didn’t the Millwaukee teacher’s Unions throw a tizzy over losing collective bargaining?

Dr Evil on May 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

All the unions did. What set the Milwaukee teachers apart is that they were upset when a certain healthcare benefit was ended. The public school system was paying over $200K/year to keep flacid teachers supplied with a certain little blue pill.

Happy Nomad on May 16, 2012 at 1:05 PM

You almost have to worry more if the unions lose. That’s when they get really nasty, and violent.

RBMN on May 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

They will overreach, once Barack “Karl Marx” Obama is defeated in Nov, Erick “Don’t Prosecute my People” Holder will be shown the door and the Union Goons will learn what the acronym RICO stands for.

SWalker on May 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Maybe Walker should point to all the teachers and other public service union workers who still have jobs but were facing layoffs before.

crosspatch on May 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Well, if “jobs saved” is good for TFGP, I say Walker ought to use it.

TXUS on May 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Arson? Figures. When you can’t win someone over with a good argument, start burning things. And this from the same people who want to tell you how intelligent they are.

GarandFan on May 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I don’t think I’ve ever hated anyone before. But, I really do hate that stuttering mother f@(Ker and his fugly wife. I think they are really scarey. Most of all, I hate what he and the dems have done to my great country.

Long haired country boy on May 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

yep, common tactic we see in so many applications…comparing actual counts to surveys and going with the polling results that favor your argument. Same sex marriage has so far been skunked 31-0 and yet we have to endure poll after poll telling us we think otherwide as a nation.

DanMan on May 16, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Same sex marriage has so far been skunked 31-0

That isn’t accurate. I can think of five places that have approved it off the top of my head: Washington state, Washington DC, Maryland, New York, and Iowa.

I think Vermont might have approved it, too, but I’m too lazy to check.

crosspatch on May 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

visions on May 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

I work for non-union Wal-Mart in right-to-work Texas. The working conditions here are far better than ANY of the union groceries I worked in while in Il. and MO.
The unions can suck it!

annoyinglittletwerp on May 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM

I think Vermont might have approved it, too, but I’m too lazy to check.

crosspatch on May 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

was that by vote of the citizens or the legislators?

DanMan on May 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM

What level of credit/blame goes to Obama for these numbers?

cjw79 on May 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

This is going to be one of my got to see the outcome of votes in WI!

Good luck Walker and other r’s up for re-election. WI voters please go vote, thanks!
L

letget on May 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Iowa was court imposed. In the following election, all judges that were up for re-election, that voted to impose gay marriage, lost.

So no, that would be a negative on the Iowegian people approving gay marriage.

MNHawk on May 16, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Ido t think gay marriage has won one vote at the ballot box. I think everywhere it is in force has been done by the courts or legislature. And once again, slippery slope. Why are the “civil rights” os polygamists now ignored in those states. Why is the new definition of marriage limited to just 2 persons in those states?

karenhasfreedom on May 16, 2012 at 1:35 PM

New Marquette poll: Walker leads 50-44.

https://twitter.com/#!/MULawPoll

Four pollsters in a row giving Walker a 5 points advantage.

joana on May 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Make that – I DON’T. Darned iPhone.

karenhasfreedom on May 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Fox Point is the land of limousine liberals. Where Bernadette Ayers grew up. It’s a wealthy enclave on the shores of Lake Michigan. The left-think is strong there.

Funny sign just a few miles north of there:

Walker fixed it
Don’t Falk it up
Wisconsin can’t Barrett

The troll-bots at the Journal Sentinel were beaten down today – pretty funny stuff as each of their talking points were countered with facts (those pesky things) and knowledge.

I have hope that Wisconsin will come through this stronger than ever.

Daisy_WI on May 16, 2012 at 1:39 PM

That isn’t accurate. I can think of five places that have approved it off the top of my head: Washington state, Washington DC, Maryland, New York, and Iowa.

I think Vermont might have approved it, too, but I’m too lazy to check.

crosspatch on May 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Same Sex marriage has never been approved by public referendum. It has either been legislatures or courts. DC’s was an act of the city council. Maryland’s was voted on in the dark hours when a key opponent ended up going to the hospital- that’s right gay marriage was passed by one vote and is apt to be put to referendum in November (along with the MD DREAM act and a gambling issue)

Happy Nomad on May 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

For those with BRAINS, compare the FAILED POLICIES of the lunatic-left d-cRAT socialists with the SUCCESSFUL POLICIES of a Republican conservative:

“California’s budget deficit has jumped to $16 billion, forcing d-cRAT socialist extremist Gov. Jerry Brown to call for even deeper cuts in state spending when he releases his revised budget plan on Monday.” People continue to flee the state to find jobs. The welfare rolls continue to increase at an ever increasing rate. The TAX-and-SPEND death spiral of d-cRAT socialism continues to accelerate.

Meanwhile…
“Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration released improved budget projections Thursday that would leave [Wisconsin] with a $154.5 million surplus a year from now.” AND, Walker did that WITHOUT any new taxes or any increases in existing taxes !

Furthermore, “With more than 33,000 jobs created since Governor Walker took office and the unemployment rate plummeting to its lowest since 2008, it is certain the governor’s bold reforms and leadership are moving Wisconsin forward,” said Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews.

And “Taxes on the median home in Wisconsin fell for the first time in 12 years, according to figures from the state Department of Revenue. The first property tax decrease since 1999 was due largely to the policies and budget created by Gov. Scott Walker.”

TeaPartyNation on May 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I pray Walker wins. Because if he does, in June, I will be convinced Obama is a one-termer.

Marcus on May 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Why does the Left hate free speech and diversity of thought?
visions on May 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Funny bumper sticker…”A liberal…so open-minded that their brains fell out”

But I don’t think you can put a left/right tag on sign vandals…most likely they can’t read and are not at all interested in political debate…

and most likely a 12 pack of Bud on the front seat of the 1997 ford (value of which goes up or down depending on how much gas is in the tank)…

they hate Walker because somebody told them they should (and that somebody heard it from somebody who heard it from somebody…)

teejk on May 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Long haired country boy on May 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Your anger is strong. It’s justified but…be careful. The thug-in-chief and his minions don’t give a hoot about your freedom to speak.

HomeoftheBrave on May 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Forbes disagrees…

Scott Walker Magically Turns Dismal Wisconsin Job Numbers Into A Pre-Election Miracle

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/15/scott-walker-magically-turns-dismal-wisconsin-job-numbers-into-a-pre-election-miracle/

With Wisconsin suffering the worst job loss numbers in the nation for the calendar year 2011, Governor Scott Walker promised yesterday that he will reveal newly revised numbers this week that will, effectively, change water into wine on the Wisconsin job front.

And he’s done it just in time for the June 5th recall election.

So, just how is Walker about to turn Wisconsin’s dismal job numbers from lemons to lemonade?

The Governor has simply decided to ignore the system used by the Department of Labor —and every other state in the nation —to measure job growth (or loss) and elected instead to go with a different set of numbers that makes things in Wisconsin look better.

Who knew it could be so easy to solve a jobs crisis?

stingray9813 on May 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Arson? Figures. When you can’t win someone over with a good argument, start burning things. And this from the same people who want to tell you how intelligent they are.

GarandFan on May 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM

And civil, don’t forget the Left are the civil ones/ The same people who blamed Tuscon massacre on Sarah Palin, and decried the lack of civility in our public discourse on the TEA party……but you know they had a bic lighter on them, and card board signs are flammable.

Dr Evil on May 16, 2012 at 2:20 PM

stingray9813 on May 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

If by Forbes you mean Forbes’ opinion columnist Rick Ungar, the infamous Mother Jones’ contributor, conspiracy theorist and far-left health care policy “expert”.

Were you really trying to make anyone believe that was a Forbes news article? Do you think other people are stupid?

joana on May 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Vandals are torching pro-Walker yard signs, and now homeowners and neighbors are worried the crimes could escalate.
Someone set fire to at least five Walker campaign signs here in Fox Point.

…Nancy Pelosi…”Bless their hearts”?
…did JugEars supply the matches?
…is the MSM all over it?
…Eric Holder will be right on it!
…where has Joe Biden been?

KOOLAID2 on May 16, 2012 at 2:35 PM

who knew it could be so easy to solve a jobs crisis?

stingray9813 on May 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I guess it’s been done before (that “jobs saved” stat comes to mind).

Other than that, is it a “crisis” that you can pin on Walker? BLS figures covered a 12 month period that began less than 2 months after he got into office and there is certainly a “hangover effect” on jobs from Doyle (where is he anyway???…witness protection program???).

And since then, we have had a rather “toxic” political environment here. As a business looking to do business here, I’m sure it has had a major impact…

#1 invest $millions based on what it could be

#2 invest $millions only to see it revert to what it was that caused all those businesses to leave

Any smart CFO would not take those 50/50 odds when so many other states are laying out the red carpet.

teejk on May 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

New Marquette poll: Walker leads 50-44.

https://twitter.com/#!/MULawPoll

Four pollsters in a row giving Walker a 5 points advantage.

joana on May 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

This poll also shows Romney and Obama tied in Wisconsin, four points better than a couple of weeks ago.

bobs1196 on May 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

If by Forbes you mean Forbes’ opinion columnist Rick Ungar, the infamous Mother Jones’ contributor, conspiracy theorist and far-left health care policy “expert”.

Were you really trying to make anyone believe that was a Forbes news article? Do you think other people are stupid?

joana on May 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM

It was a Forbes article. If the website of Forbes hosts it…it is Forbes. Can you dispute the article in detail please?

stingray9813 on May 16, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I always put landmines around my signs, havent had any problems since then, with the exception of a loud boom in the night.

Imrahil on May 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Hey Stingray – I read the Forbes article. It was great. Totally tore apart the use of the Population survey because it measures employment across state lines and such.

Of course, the author is an idiot because Walker isn’t using the Population survey, he’s using the business census. Totally different critter. Instead of surveying 3.5% of households, he’s using data gathered on 96% of businesses. Yup, 96%. What’s the margin of error on that? Pretty tiny, I’d guess.

Oh, and while we’re playing…. here’s how these numbers are derived. Every 3 months there’s a survey (3.5%) of businesses to determineNow the number of jobs, and another of households to determine the unemployment rate (that’s what goes into the U3 – U6 numbers). Since it’s only a sample, this number is an estimate.

Every six months there’s a full census of all businesses (except the single proprietor etc that slip through the cracks – thus 96%) to see how many people they ACTUALLY employ. This number is gathered by the state (part of the unemployment insurance data) and then sent on to the feds every 6 months or so. The feds use this data to tweak the estimates from the surveys.

All Walker did was say, “hmmm, these estimates don’t jibe with our ACTUAL unemployment benefit payouts OR our tax revenues….let’s take a closer look.” After the numbers were compiled and ready to be sent to the feds, just like normal, he released them to the press as well.

So today’s release is just a preview of what has been sent to the feds and the actual numbers that will be used to adjust the survey-based numbers.

So, instead of losing 30,000 jobs, Wisconsin actually gained 26,000, that’s a difference of 56,000 jobs.

Daisy_WI on May 16, 2012 at 4:11 PM

So, Stingray, is pointing out that Rick Ungar missed the most basic of facts – the correct survey – enough, or shall I take it apart some more for you?

Daisy_WI on May 16, 2012 at 4:13 PM

So, Stingray, is pointing out that Rick Ungar missed the most basic of facts – the correct survey – enough, or shall I take it apart some more for you?

Daisy_WI on May 16, 2012 at 4:13 PM

I’d have to believe some internet nobody knows more than a Forbes writer…I don’t.

stingray9813 on May 16, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Oh sweetie, you have no idea who lurks behind this name. But I’m not going to waste time on you if you don’t even read the article and look at the surveys being compared.

Here’s some homework.
1) Get a piece of paper and a pencil
2) Read the Walker press release and write down the names of the data used.
3) Read the Forbes article and write down the names of the data used.
4) Compare them. See if they’re the same.

Daisy_WI on May 16, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Hey Stingray – for extra credit, watch the youtube video of the Wisconsin Chief Economist explaining why the Establishment numbers are off.

Daisy_WI on May 16, 2012 at 5:06 PM

I’d have to believe some internet nobody knows more than a Forbes writer…I don’t.

stingray9813 on May 16, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Oh please and Walker’s only been in office a little over a year. You’re so bought. If he was a Dem you would be as quiet as a mouse.

CW on May 16, 2012 at 6:14 PM

New sign idea: “I’m On Fire for Walker”

Uncledave on May 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

You have no idea how much that made me laugh. :lol:

englishqueen01 on May 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Just saw a bumper sticker, “Be politically correct, vote for Walker”.

Daisy_WI on May 16, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Wisconsin Democrats filing complaint with GAB regarding new jobs report

http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/151780195.html

jjrakman on May 16, 2012 at 9:35 PM