Macroeconomic indicators turning downward.
There is a recurring commercial going out over Wisconsin airwaves arguing for progress , link to . This impelled me to consult some metrics regarding progress in the state, following up on this
post from a month ago.
The situation can be summed up pretty easily:
- Total nonfarm employment continues to decline.
- Contrary to predictions from October’s Wisconsin Economic Outlook, private nonfarm employment continues to decline.
- Local government employment is down by 4700 relative to January 2011, and continues to plummet.
- With the exception of Indiana, no other state in the Fed’s 7th district besides Wisconsin has experienced a sustained decline in its coincident index.
- Looking forward, Wisconsin’s leading indicator continues to signal contraction.
Here are the data underpinning these assessments.
Figure 1: Wisconsin nonfarm payroll employment (blue, left axis), and private nonfarm employment (red, right axis), 000’s, seasonally adjusted, 2007M01-2011M10. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Vertical line at 2011M01. Source: BLS.
Figure 2: Wisconsin nonfarm private employment, seasonally adjusted (dark blue), and projections from Wisconsin Economic Outlook, in 000’s. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Vertical line at 2011M01. Sources: BLS, Wisconsin Economic Outlook.
Figure 3: Wisconsin state government employment (teal, left axis), and local government (pink, right axis), 2007M01-2011M10. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Vertical line at 2011M01. Source: WI DWD.
Figure 4: Log coincident index for Wisconsin (WI, bold blue), Illinois (IL, dark red), Indiana (IN, teal), Iowa (IA, green), Michigan (MI, purple), Minnesota (MN, orange), and US (black), all rescaled to 2011M01=0. Vertical line at 2011M01. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and author’s calculations.
Figure 5: Leading indices, for Wisconsin (blue) and for US (red), 2007M01-2011M10. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Vertical line at 2011M01. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and author’s calculations.
Parting observations. The Wisconsin unemployment rate in October is half a percentage point higher than January 2011, when Governor Walker took office; in contrast, the national rate has held constant relative to that month. At the pace of job loss recorded in October, November nonfarm payroll, nonfarm private and manufacturing employment will all be at or below the same level recorded in January 2011. Here is Governor Walker’s assessment A Year of Progress for Wisconsin’s Job Climate.
In non-economic breaking news from Wisconsin, First arrest made in John Doe investigation:
…The arrest represents a new direction and development in the secret probe of Walker’s staff while he was county executive and governor.
John Doe investigations are secret proceedings in which witnesses can be subpoenaed and compelled to testify under oath about potential criminal matters and are forbidden from talking publicly about the case.
Prosecutors launched the investigation on May 2010 – around the time Darlene Wink left her county job as Walker’s constituent services coordinator in May 2010. She quit shortly after admitting that she had frequently posted political comments online on Journal Sentinel stories and blogs while on the county clock.
Authorities later took her work computer and executed a search warrant of her home in August 2010. They also took the work computer of Tim Russell, a former Walker campaign staffer who was then working as county housing director.
Sources have told the Journal Sentinel that the probe, which initially looked at campaign activity by Walker staffers, has moved in a number of directions since then.
The long-simmering investigation boiled over publicly in September when a dozen FBI agents and other law enforcement officials raided the Madison home of Cindy Archer, a key Walker aide at the county and the state.
Archer has maintained that she did not campaign on work time.
Since then, No Quarter reported that Walker’s current spokesman Cullen Werwie, who worked on the governor’s campaign, was given immunity to testify in the John Doe probe. Also receiving immunity was Republican operative Rose Ann Dieck.
More recently, a grant of immunity was considered for an unnamed person about four or five weeks ago, according to former Appeals Judge Neal Nettesheim, who is overseeing the investigation.