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April jobs numbers show 22,600 private jobs lost, unemployment rate unchanged

by
Unemployment graphic (Reuters)
Unemployment graphic (Reuters)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin labor officials took issue with a federal report today, which showed that the state lost 22,600 private sector jobs during April.

The report also said Wisconsin’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.1 percent last month, the same as March.  The state’s labor force also grew by 7,800 people.

Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson has long argued that the state’s monthly job data is inaccurate, because it’s based on a quick survey of only three-and-a-half percent of employers.

Also, the state says it’s now being required to put its employment estimates into closer alignment with the national data.

Newson says the monthly numbers are too volatile to be accurate – and indeed, they’re often subject to heavy revisions later on.

Revised figures for March showed that Wisconsin had 1,200 more private sector jobs than originally reported.

Newson’s agency released a much rosier report Thursday.

It showed that Wisconsin gained 62,000 jobs in the first two years of the Walker administration.

That’s according to a much more complete employer survey that Washington issues each quarter, with a lag of several months.

The 2-year job figures did not compare Wisconsin to other states – and in the most recent quarterly report, the state was ranked a low 44th in job growth.

The 62,000 job figure is only represents a quarter of the 250,000 Governor Scott Walker promised in his 2010 election campaign – and that’s at the halfway point of his term.

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