Gov. Scott Walker recommitted Saturday to his pledge to create 250,000 private-sector jobs by 2015, a promise all the more difficult to achieve since he first made it because of anemic job growth during his tenure.
In my April 30th post, which addressed Governor Walker’s fears that Wisconsin net job creation would go negative if he lost the recall (despite the fact that reported net job creation was already negative), I included this graph:
Figure 1: Wisconsin private nonfarm payroll employment from BLS March 2012 release (blue), from BLS November 2011 release (teal), and projections from Wisconsin Economic Outlook (October 2011) (red), in 000’s. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Vertical line at 2011M01. Sources: BLS, Wisconsin Economic Outlook and NBER.
As of March, private employment is 34,000 below the October 2011 forecasted level.
Several individuals have pointed out difficulties with the state level CES based employment series. Tim Duy, Joshua Lehner, and reader Tom have helped me understand the tentative nature of the CES-based numbes. They pointed me to the contrasting figures coming from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which suggest private employment would have continued to rise through September 2011 (the extent of QCEW data). However, interestingly, over that same period, the household series suggests sideways movement in overall employment.
Should employment be re-benchmarked up, the subsequent trend in recorded private employment would still put employment below the forecast from the October 2011 Economic Outlook.*
* Procedure: Seasonally adjusting the QCEW data, then using a regression estimated over 2009M06-2011M06 to extrapolate 2011M07-M09, then adding recorded changes in private employment from CES over the 2011M10-2012M03 period.
Update, 5:25pm Pacific
Here is a graph with the implied path of private employment, given Governor Walker’s 250,000 net private jobs objective.
Figure 2: Wisconsin private nonfarm payroll employment from BLS March 2012 release (blue), projections from Wisconsin Economic Outlook (October 2011) (red), and implied path for employment given 250,000 net job increase by 2015M01 (green), in 000’s. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Vertical line at 2011M01. Sources: BLS, Wisconsin Economic Outlook, NBER, author’s calculations.
Update, 5/13, 3:35pm Pacific Open question: why has the Wisconsin measured labor force shrunk (0.2%) while the US labor force has increased a percentage point? An interesting observation to keep in mind when looking at the WI unemployment rate.
Update, 5/15 8pm Pacific: Rumor has it that the Walker Administration will release their own employment series.  , based on other indicators. Interesting fact: Wisconsin ranked 50th out of 50 in 2011Q3-2011Q4 personal income growth.  (Table 6)