This morning’s US Department of Labor press release tells a continuing tale of stagnant job growth and a long-term unemployment problem in Wisconsin.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 7 were in New York (+22,336), Michigan (+7,602), Ohio (+5,976), Pennsylvania (+4,775), and Wisconsin (+4,615), while the largest decreases were in California (-9,016), New Jersey (-5,282), Connecticut (-917), Massachusetts (-716), and Oklahoma (-671).
Wisconsin (population 5.7 million) is number 4 in initial unemployment claims – behind New York (population 19.4 million), Michigan (population 9.8 million) , Ohio (population 11.5 million), and Pennsylvania (population 12.7 million) – all states with significantly larger populations.
The rise in claims erases the modest drop in claims last week of 663. This is further evidence of flat job growth, and a long-term unemployment problem. The added consequences of an extreme drought will make this economic situation worse.
The question is…Where is Scott Walker? While Walker is off playing political superstar, there is now the opportunity for a special session of the Legislature which could actually act in a bi-partisan session. We do not need a governor-in-absentia, we need leadership. Again, as Wisconsinites are suffering through a depressed economy, Walker and his allies are playing politics…with people’s lives.