Latest jobs numbers show stagnant growth in Wisconsin - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Latest jobs numbers show stagnant growth in Wisconsin

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The latest quarterly numbers for private-sector job growth were released Thursday and show Wisconsin ranked 35th among states in the latest reporting period.

Walker's spokeswoman, Laurel Patrick, said the numbers show that the state is better off under Walker.

"Wisconsin is headed in the right direction and creating jobs," Patrick said.

The figures show stagnant job growth in the state over the past three months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows Wisconsin added 28,351 private sector jobs from September 2012 through September 2013, for a private-sector job growth rate of 1.2%. The national average was 2%, and Wisconsin lagged behind the job growth rate of all neighboring states except Illinois, which ranked 41st among states in the latest report with a growth rate of 0.9%.

The quarterly numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are a key benchmark for Gov. Scott Walker, since he picked those figures, considered by economists to be the most accurate employment counts, as the best measurement of how well he is meeting his 2010 campaign promise to add 250,000 private sector jobs by the end of this year.

Walker's job-creation record and his handling of the state economy will be key issues in his re-election campaign against Democrat Mary Burke.

Democrats and Burke have pointed to Wisconsin's lagging job-creation numbers as a sign Walker's policies aren't working.

"Walker's approach isn't working and the struggle for Wisconsin's middle class to get ahead continues," said Burke's spokesman Joe Zepecki.

The governor has blamed slow job growth on several factors, including uncertainty caused by his recall election in 2012, the status of the federal health care law and decisions made by his Democratic predecessor.

Walker is unlikely to meet his 250,000 jobs promise. Through the first two years of his term, there were 63,000 private-sector jobs created in the state. Using the best available numbers for 2013, about 39,700 more jobs were added, for a three-year total of just over 103,000.

The quarterly data released Wednesday are based on a census of 96 percent of the nation's employers in the public and private sectors.

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