New federal jobs data released today shows that Wisconsin ranks 37th in the nation in job growth since Scott Walker took office and continues to add jobs at about half the pace of the national average.

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) figures, previously referred to by Scott Walker as the “gold standard of jobs measurement” (see more on this below), show that Wisconsin added 24,305 private sector jobs in the latest 12-month period – the lowest total for that period in the past three years. Wisconsin’s job growth represented a 1.1% increase in total employment, about half the national average rate of growth of 2.0%.

That same data puts Wisconsin at an overall rank of 37th in the nation in job growth since Walker took office.

The disappointing quarterly data follows another day of bad jobs news for Walker, as Forbes Magazine yesterday ranked Wisconsin 45th in the nation in potential job growth and 41st overall on its annual Best States to do Business list.

Background

The following press release from the Office of Governor Scott Walker explaining that actual job count data is the gold standard of jobs measurement has been reprinted in its entirety as originally published. View the release at its source here.

What is the Best Way to Count Jobs?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - Press Release

Madison – Numerous media outlets have been questioning the best way to accurately count jobs in Wisconsin.

Last year, Governor Walker’s office was asked how the administration would track their goal of creating 250,000 jobs.  In an e-mail response on March 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM, Governor Walker’s spokesman Cullen Werwie responded (below is the complete response):

We are tabulating our job creation number based on the Department of Workforce Development’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCWE).  DWD basically puts out Current Employment Survey (CES) every month, which are initial estimates of jobs.  Then about 6-9 months later once hard data has been tabulated (no longer an estimate) they release the QCEW data.  Typically quarterly and annual QCWE data is released approximately nine months after the end of the year.

The data that DWD released today, corresponds with Governor Walker’s commitment to use verifiable, actual job counts, not just monthly job estimates.  The jobs data today is drawn from more than 96% of all Wisconsin businesses counting each and every employee they have and reporting it to DWD.  The jobs estimates that are reported each month represent a survey of approximately 3.5% of WI employers, which is subject to considerable revision and is much less accurate and more volatile than actual job counts.

In response to the release of this e-mail Governor Walker made the following statement:

My administration has been 100% consistent in using data that most accurately portrays job growth.

While it is understandable that jobs estimates are often discussed when they are released, because they are the most recent job statistic, the actual job count data is the gold standard of jobs measurement.  It takes many months to review data from over 150,000 employers to get the actual job count completed, which is what has been released today.

The actual job count data released today, which I have been saying along should be used to measure jobs, shows Wisconsin is headed in the right direction.