December 05, 2013
Coincident Indices for Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and the US
The Philadelphia Fed coincident indices for October are out. Figure 1 presents the log series, normalized to January 2011 = 0.
November 21, 2013
Wisconsin Employment: October 2013
Two numbers to remember: 84 thousand and 107 thousand
September 26, 2013
Wisconsin's Governor Walker Touts Alternate Employment Series
Makes little impact on trend relative to promise, and relative to the Nation
September 06, 2013
A Tale of Two Fiscal Policies, Continued
In a previous post, I compared economic outcomes in two states that implemented contrasting fiscal policies: California, which surged ahead while raising taxes and cutting spending, and Wisconsin, which lagged far behind as it slashed spending on education, and cut taxes. Latest estimates of current economic activity, and forecasted economic activity six months out, indicate continued lagging performance for Wisconsin.
August 26, 2013
Two Approaches to Fiscal Policy
Consider the following graph, with both series (coincident series for economic activity) normalized to 2011M01=0.
Dispatches XXVII: An Arrest at the Capitol
August 20, 2013
Dispatches XXVI: So Much for Shrinking All Government
Gov. Scott Walker's administration rewarded the new hardline Capitol Police chief and his top deputy with double-digit pay raises earlier this year after moving the pair on paper to phantom jobs for two weeks and then back to their real posts.
August 08, 2013
Counterproductive Tendencies in Wisconsin Policy Debates
Would you be willing to flesh out your background so as to better understand your positions in your research and blog postings?
Where were you born?
Where were your parents born?
Do your parents espouse your same political leanings?
Do you intend to remain in Wisconsin after you retire?
If not, where do you intend to move to?
July 19, 2013
The Wisconsin Economic Outlook: July 2013
Key numbers: 79 thousands and 81 thousands
June 13, 2013
Petition Signers Need Not Apply
Walker was for the nominee (for University of Wisconsin Board of Regents) before he was against him
Dispatches XXV: A Conjecture Regarding Lagging Employment in Wisconsin
Transvaginal probes (amended to mandated ultrasounds) and giving regressive tax cuts after slashing K-12 education expenditures probably isn’t going to draw high-technology/knowledge based workers to the state
June 05, 2013
From Wisconsin Idea to Wisconsin ...Something
Some implications of current legislative actions for the conduct of University of Wisconsin system research
From The Isthmus today:
The two-sentence amendment to the budget was part of an omnibus motion that was introduced by the Republican co-chairs of the state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee and passed just before 6 a.m. It reads:
"Prohibit the Board of Regents from permitting the Center for Investigative Journalism to occupy any facilities owned or leased by the Board of Regents. In addition, prohibit UW employees from doing any work related to the Center for Investigative Journalism as part of their duties as a UW employee."
June 04, 2013
Wisconsin Economic Activity: April 2013
The Philadelphia Fed's coincident indices for April are out (h/t Mike Ivey). Wisconsin economic activity as measured by this index continues to surprise, but not in a good way.
May 23, 2013
Wisconsin Employment Situation in April
Newly released BLS data indicate an absence of strong employment growth.
April 26, 2013
Wisconsin: Economic Development
April 19, 2013
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.
April 02, 2013
Wisconsin, and Her Neighbors: Philadelphia Fed Coincident Indices
From the MacIver Institute, “The Free Market Voice of Wisconsin”:
March 22, 2013
Wisconsin Employment: Still Lagging despite Upward Revisions
Earlier this week, the BLS released new estimates of state employment, based upon Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data through September 2012. The figures for Wisconsin have been substantially revised upward. As indicated in previous posts   , census data had indicated substantially higher nonfarm payroll employment than that derived from surveys.
February 07, 2013
A Comparison of Selected Economic Indicators for Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
And assessing Walker's "open for business" program thus far
January 25, 2013
Dispatches XXIV: Please Proceed Governor (Walker)
There has been something of a dispute between Governor Walker and Governor Dayton of Minnesota. From Minnesota Public Radio, Governor Walker’s tweet, in response to Governor Dayton’s speech:
November 26, 2012
What's Up with Wisconsin Employment?
Civilian employment in Wisconsin is less than it was when Governor Walker took office in January 2011. In contrast, US employment is almost 3% higher.
September 27, 2012
The Employment Situation in Governor Walker’s Wisconsin in 2012: “Grim”
From IHS-Global Insight, “U.S. Regional - Perspective Article: Swing States: Wisconsin,” 9/24/2012:
August 03, 2012
Adventures in (Wisconsin) Data Interpretation: Selective Sample Choice and Seasonal Nonadjustment Edition
But, oddly, [Wisconsin] education and government employment increased in Wisconsin by more than 13,000 during the Jan-Jun period under uber-neo-con-anti-government Gov. Walker.
July 20, 2012
Wisconsin Employment Release for June: Payroll, Private, Civilian Employment Decline.
The BLS has released preliminary estimates for June employment in Wisconsin. Private payrolls declined 11.7 thousand while total nonfarm payroll declined 13.2 thousand (0.5% and 0.5% respectively, using log differences), at seasonally adjusted rates. Civilian employment decreased 7.9 thousand (0.3%). (At annualized rates, these would be 6%, 5.8% and 3.3%, respectively). It is interesting to observe that none of these figures are cited in the text of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development press release. Instead, it notes:
June 11, 2012
The Wisconsin Macro Outlook
The Spring Wisconsin Economic Outlook has not yet been released (last year, I believe it was released in early/mid May), so I thought I’d take a look at what recent private sector forecasts indicated. Here is one graph of relative GDP trends from Chase’s State of the Wisconsin Economy, dated March 31.
June 01, 2012
The Recall in Wisconsin: Summary Statistics
TPM average of polls for Wisconsin governor recall, Barrett vs. Walker: 48.5 to 49.7.
May 25, 2012
Dispatches XXIII: Wisconsin Government Diverts Funds from Foreclosure Relief
Unsurprising to me, but still of note.
From ProPublica, insight into Wisconsin (among other states):
States have diverted $974 million from this year’s landmark mortgage settlement to pay down budget deficits or fund programs unrelated to the foreclosure crisis, according to a ProPublica analysis. That’s nearly forty percent of the $2.5 billion in penalties paid to the states under the agreement.
May 24, 2012
Dispatches XXII: Wisconsin and US Employment Growth Compared
Updated 5/27 -- added Figure 2 showing Wisconsin's poor performance vis a vis US as measured by coincident indices.
Governor Walker has been touting on numerous (!) radio and television ads employment gains using the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) based figures , and (apparently) adding on reported changes in employment, as recorded by BLS. I wanted to highlight exactly how lackluster the record looks even with Governor Walker’s preferred numbers.
May 18, 2012
BLS: Wisconsin Private and Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment Decline in April
Official figures indicate employment declines in April, according to the BLS. Private payrolls are 4700 below January 2011 Levels
May 16, 2012
Governor Walker’s Revised Employment Data in Context
(Updated at 5/17 12 noon Pacific: Wisconsin DWD reports April Loss of 5.9K NFP Jobs (6.2K Private); March NFP numbers revised up 7.3K, private payroll numbers revised up 0.7K. Total civilian employment rises by 6.8K according to household survey. Complete information at bottom of post).
Today, the Wisconsin DWD took the unusual -- one might say unprecedented   -- step of announcing their estimates of what they call “actual job numbers” (see press release here). These are based on the unemployment insurance covered employment. From the press release:
May 12, 2012
Dispatches (XXI): Governor Walker only 244,100 Short of 250,000 New Private Sector Jobs by 2015!
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.
May 11, 2012
Dispatches (XX): "Divide and Conquer"
A filmmaker released a video Thursday that shows Gov. Scott Walker saying he would use "divide and conquer" as a strategy against unions.
April 30, 2012
No Need to Wait until June 5
From WisPolitics today:
Walker warned that job losses might again ramp up in Wisconsin if either Barrett or Falk are elected in the June 5 recall...
April 23, 2012
What Are These Two Time Series?
March 08, 2012
Wisconsin Employment Climbs ... to 12,500 below January 2011 Levels
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development today released figures for January employment revised to account for benchmark revisions. Nonfarm payroll employment and nonfarm private employment both rose. But the latter just barely exceeded levels of a year previous, while nonfarm payroll employment fell short.
February 09, 2012
Miscellanea: Deficit Hypocrisy Watch, Conspiracy at the BLS, and Wisconsin’s Continuing Downward Trend
Deficit Hypocrisy Watch
The WSJ editorial page last Thursday remarked upon:
"...the worst fiscal record of any President in modern times..."
January 28, 2012
Wisconsin Governor Walker: "We are heading in the right direction."
That statement is from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's State of the State address. Here are some additional remarks:
January 20, 2012
Dispatches (XIX): Wisconsin Employment Hemorrhaging Continues
Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development yesterday released preliminary employment figures for December, and revised figures for November. Both nonfarm payroll employment and private nonfarm payroll employment continue to decline (Figures 1 and 2). Total nonfarm payroll employment is now below levels recorded in January 2011, when Governor Walker took office. The divergence between the national employment trend and Wisconsin's over the past six months is highlighted in Figure 3.
January 10, 2012
Dispatches XVIII: Wisconsin Employment and Activity Indicators
As Governor Walker begins a tour of the state to tout a new jobs plan , it might be useful to review economic conditions in Wisconsin. Briefly put, Wisconsin employment (total, private) continues to decline, and Wisconsin's coincident indicator continues to diverge from the US indicator (as well as most other of the region's indicators). Hence, points made in previous posts   still seem applicable.
December 16, 2011
Dispatches (XVII): "Things are continually and gradually moving in the right direction"
That's the concluding line from the release issued by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Secretary Reginald Newson. The preceding sentence is "The job numbers are a lagging indicator for economic conditions, and we will continue to move forward." Here are two graphs, with updated DWD data incorporating revisions, and preliminary data for November, that place those comments in context.
December 12, 2011
Dispatches (XVI): Measuring Progress in Wisconsin
Macroeconomic indicators turning downward.
There is a recurring commercial going out over Wisconsin airwaves arguing for progress , link to [video]. This impelled me to consult some metrics regarding progress in the state, following up on this post from a month ago.
November 18, 2011
Dispatches (XV): Wisconsin Macroeconomic Indicators
Here are some macro indicators for the Wisconsin macroeconomy. In sum, civilian employment is rising (to essentially 2011M01 levels), but nonfarm payroll employment is declining; private sector employment (ex-farm) is flat, while government employment is declining; and leading indicators are pointing to a downturn.
June 25, 2011
Dispatches (XIV): "Walker cancels budget bill-signing at firm run by felon"
Gov. Scott Walker has called off plans to sign the 2011-'13 budget bill at a private Green Bay-area company run by an executive with eight felony convictions, a spokesman announced today.
April 14, 2011
Dispatches (XIII): Gov. Walker: "It doesn't save any [money]"
That is Governor Walker's answer to the question of how much money rescinding collective bargaining for public unions saves the state government. From the Capital Times:
April 12, 2011
Dispatches (XII): Wisconsin Governor Walker Threatens Layoffs (Again!)
From WisPolitics today:
Gov. Scott Walker says he may have to again consider laying off state employees if his collective bargaining law remains tied up in the courts for much more than the next week or two.
March 30, 2011
Dispatches (XI): Walker Administration Interprets the Law
With update, wherein the Walker Administration complies with the third temporary restraining order.
From the Wisconsin State Journal:
State officials say they will move forward with Wisconsin's controversial collective bargaining law, despite a judge's order barring its implementation -- and a threat of sanctions against anyone who violates it.
March 21, 2011
Dispatches (X): The Economic Impact of Governor Walker's Plans
And Walker (Still) Plans No-Bid Sales of Power Plants, the $7.5 million worth of damages to the Capitol building becomes $347,000 (maybe), and the expanding politicization of the civil service.
From Wisconsin State Journal:
Gov. Scott Walker's plans to balance the state budget by cutting spending and public workers' take-home pay will slow the state's economic recovery, according to projections by a UW-Madison economist.
March 12, 2011
Dispatches (IX): 49,000-
85,000 100,000 Rally In Madison
Source: "Capitol Square overflows in largest Wisconsin labor solidarity demonstration yet," The Isthmus (3/12/2011).
From USA Today:
By 3 p.m., tens of thousands of people crowded the Capitol Square. There is a big discrepancy in the crowd estimates compiled by Capitol Police and the Madison Police Department. Capitol Police estimated about 49,500 at 2 p.m. while Madison police said the crowd was about 85,000.
Latest Reuters estimate at up to 100,000.
March 07, 2011
Dispatches (VIII): A Dog's Life in Wisconsin
Or, don't lose your dog in Wisconsin.
Just one of the odd bits of legislation winding through Madison, WI. From AB40:
SECTION 2704. 174.13 (2) of the statutes is amended to read: 174.13 (2) Any officer or pound which has custody of an unclaimed dog may release the dog to the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc., or to any other educational institution of higher learning chartered under the laws of the state and accredited to the University of Wisconsin System or University of Wisconsin–Madison, upon requisition by the institution.
March 03, 2011
Dispatches (VII): WWBD?
Or, "What Would Bob (La Follette) Do?"
Protesters' signs and online discussions have repeatedly invoked La Follette, a turn-of-the-20th century Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator. His bust has become a locus of the protest, with demonstrators draping flowers around its neck and festooning its pedestal with signs saying "Long Live La Follette" and "What Would Bob Do?"
February 28, 2011
Dispatches (VI): Where Do Those Budget Numbers Come From?
Wisconsin Governor Walker has been stating that if his "budget repair bill" is not passed, then the state will lose $165 million dollars. It is unclear what exactly would be "lost" if the bill is not passed. From the New York Times:
"One day left to save the state $165 million," said the governor’s office on Monday, announcing the latest deadline.
If Democrats do not return by Tuesday, taxpayers would lose an option to save that money through a "refinancing," the governor’s office said, citing the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a nonpartisan agency that conducts budget analysis.
February 27, 2011
Dispatches (V): Wisconsin - Open for Business or For Sale?
In light of the provision to sell off power plants in Wisconsin under no-bid contracts, this photo caught my eye:
Source: Capital Times
February 22, 2011
Dispatches (IV): Wisconsin National Guard Makes Routine Visits to Correctional Institutions
Madison -- As large labor protests continue at the Capitol, the Wisconsin National Guard has toured more than one prison in the state, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The Journal Sentinel reported Monday that National Guard members last week had toured Redgranite Correctional Institution with its security director. On Tuesday, Lt. Col. Jackie Guthrie, spokeswoman for the National Guard, confirmed that other prisons had been visited as well.
February 20, 2011
Dispatches (III): I Regret...
[Executive board president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association] Tracy Fuller writes, "I am going to make an effort to speak for myself, and every member of the Wisconsin State Patrol when I say this ... I specifically regret the endorsement of the Wisconsin Trooper's Association for Gov. Scott Walker. I regret the governor's decision to 'endorse' the troopers and inspectors of the Wisconsin State Patrol. I regret being the recipient of any of the perceived benefits provided by the governor's anointing. ...
February 19, 2011
Dispatches (II): Walker rejects union offer to accept concessions
...The Walker statement was in response to a statement earlier Saturday from [State senator] Erpenbach, who said he had been informed that all state and local public employee unions had agreed to the financial aspects of Walker's budget-repair bill. Erpenbach added in his statement that the groups wanted, in turn, for Walker to agree to let labor groups bargain collectively, as they do now.
February 17, 2011
Analogy Watch: "Cairo has come to Wisconsin"?
Day 3 in the Wisconsin State capitol rotunda. Source: Milwaukee Sentinel Journal
From National Journal:
In an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe today, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the cuts were necessary to get Wisconsin back in the black.
"State workers who have extremely generous benefits packages, [Walker’s] asking that they contribute 12 percent to their health care packages. It’s not a lot, it’s about half of what private-sector employees pay, and he’s getting riots. It’s like Cairo has come to Wisconsin,” Ryan said. “People should be able to express their way, but we’ve got to get this deficit and debt under control in Madison."
February 11, 2011
This caught my eye. From Chicago Tribune:
Walker says National Guard is prepared
MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond wherever is necessary in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights from state employees.