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State trails nation in job creation
Job growth falls short of the national pace in Vernon and Juneau counties, but not Richland
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Every week come new details showing Wisconsin as a back-of-the-pack state for jobs and income. A new report offers data on how this is affecting each of the state’s 72 counties.

It follows a prominent story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on May 26, that reported private-sector wages in Wisconsin falling at 2% a year, twice the national rate. Wisconsin ranked 44th out of 50 in wage growth.

And it follows the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future’s report that Wisconsin has trailed the national pace of private sector job-creation for 26 consecutive months, exactly coinciding with Gov. Scott Walker’s time in office.

According to the report, private-sector jobs in Vernon County increased by 148 during the two-year period from September 2010-September 2012. This is the most recent two-year period available with the highest quality federal jobs data, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

Had county job growth equalled the United States average during that same time, private-sector employment in Vernon County would have increased by 272 jobs–leaving a gap between actual and US average job growth of 124 jobs.

Juneau County also underperformed. Private-sector jobs grew by only four in the time period–well behind the 268 that would have been created if county job growth equalled the US average.

However, Richland County job growth was above average. During the two-year period, job growth was 329–ahead of the 196-job change that would have occurred had job growth equalled the American average.

Overall, Wisconsin fell more than 38,000 jobs short of matching the US pace of job growth from September 2010-September 2012.

In 55 of the state’s 72 counties, job growth fell short of the national pace. Five counties were at least 2,000 jobs behind the US pace: Milwaukee, Kenosha, Winnebago (Oshkosh), Marathon (Wausau) and St. Croix County (Hudson-Twin Cities suburbs).

One reason the poor economic performance is so widely felt across the state is the impact of the Walker administration’s attack on public sector workers, who live in every corner of Wisconsin. Public workers have lost about one billion dollars a year in take home pay as a result of Act 10.

And as the Journal Sentinel article noted, wage growth in state government—“pressured more by government austerity policies than global competition”—ranked 49th in the nation.