Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Wisconsin Posts Biggest US Job Loss, as Gov. Scott Walker Fights for His Job

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Wisconsin Posts Biggest US Job Loss, as Gov. Scott Walker Fights for His Job

Article excerpt

Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It also lost more private-sector jobs than any other state.

While Wisconsin Gov, Scott Walker (R) fights to keep his job in a recall election scheduled for June, he is being forced to confront a harsh reality in his state: It lost more jobs during the past 12 months than any other state in the United States.

Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state's lead in job losses is significantly greater than the rest of the 50 states: No other state lost more than 3,500 jobs.

The majority of the losses in Wisconsin, 17,800, were in the public sector. However, the state lost more private-sector jobs, 6,100, than any other state. The only other states to report private- sector job losses in the same time period (instead of private- sector gains) were Mississippi and Rhode Island.

Governor Walker has been campaigning on a message that jobs are up in Wisconsin, responding to positive data for January and February that 17,000 jobs were added in his state. The loss of 4,300 jobs in March reversed that trend.

"We understand, it's not the government that creates jobs; it's the people who create jobs. The best thing we can do is get government out of the way," Walker told the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in Springfield last week.

The job gains early this year suggest they will be sustained over the remaining months of this year, says his administration, which attributes the gains to Walker's agenda that included cuts to public- sector union benefits and bargaining power last year.

"There are a lot of other indicators that we see that show the governor's policies are working," Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, told the Associated Press. …

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