Wisconsin in March: Nonfarm payroll employment declines

Private nonfarm payroll employment growth near zero, and the level is about 70 thousand below the path implied by Governor Walker’s commitment to increase private sector employment by 250 thousand by 2015M01.


Figure 1: Private nonfarm payroll employment in Wisconsin, March release (blue), and path of private nonfarm payroll employment promised by Governor Walker (red). Source: BLS and author’s calculations.


Figure 2: Nonfarm payroll employment in Wisconsin, March 2013 release (blue), and implied path of nonfarm payroll employment promised by Governor Walker (promised private employment plus actual government employment) (red). Source: BLS and author’s calculations.

Note that these employment figures take into account the benchmarking associated with the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) the Walker administration has pointed to as a more accurate measure than the monthly BLS estimates. [1].


The MacIver Institute, “The Free Market Voice of Wisconsin”, has recently claimed that the state is halfway toward achieving the Walker target. [2] The MacIver Institute claim is based upon a mixing and matching of seasonally adjusted and seasonally unadjusted data, and is not to be taken seriously. [3] [4] By way of contrast, directly using the BLS series indicates that March employment is 65.6 thousand above 2011M01 levels, only roughly 26% of the way to the target.

7 thoughts on “Wisconsin in March: Nonfarm payroll employment declines

  1. Jake formerly of the LP

    Quick check of the BLS’s state-by-state stats indicates Wisconsin is still in the low 40s when it comes to job growth.
    Then add in the fact that we still have snow in much of the state, and floods in the rest of it, and I have to think April’s numbers will be bad on a seasonally-adjusted basis as well (no seasonal jobs in general in these parts, and unemployment claims have been up the last 2 weeks in Wisconsin as well).
    It seems like weather knocked down jobs in most parts of the Midwest in March, and might do it again for April, so I’ll be interested in seeing where it translates into the U.S. overall figures.

  2. 2slugbaits

    Menzie Off topic…well, okay it does concern the University of Wisconsin. I saw where George Box from the Madison math/stat department passed away a couple weeks ago. I didn’t know him, but one of the old timers in my office knew him from the 1970s when he used to do a lot of time series and statistical work for my office. I still use Box-Jenkins techniques even though they’ve kind of gone out of fashion. Judging by his obit it sounds like he had a pretty enviable life.

  3. c thomson

    Thinking out of the box is always good. In this case thinking outside the faculty lounge is even better.

  4. Menzie Chinn

    c thomson: Your remarks concerning academia are tiresome, given your contact with academia in the 21st century seems to be derived from television depictions. In my nine years at UW Madison, I have never been in the La Follette School faculty lounge. There is none. Get a life, or at least go visit a campus if you are going to presume to pontificate on academia.

    On a substantive note, would you like to comment on whether there is any mistake or misrepresentation in the post? Comments on the calculations would be welcome — I’d like to know if you can add and subtract.

Comments are closed.