State loses 7,900 private sector jobs in May

According to the state’s May employment report, Wisconsin’s economy lost 7,900 private-sector jobs in May, a number that was offset by hiring in federal, state and local governments.

At the risk of losing my “big government liberal” card, it’s never a great sign when public sector employment grows faster than private sector employment. The private sector, especially small businesses, are the engine that drives our economy, and given the fact that previous months had seen gains in private sector jobs, I can only hope that May’s jobs numbers are a speedbump on our state’s long road to economic recovery.


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6 thoughts on “State loses 7,900 private sector jobs in May

  1. I was looking at those numbers. Let’s just say that they don’t really add up when you compare an apparent increase in seasonally-adjusted Wisconsin jobs, decrease in unemployment (8.2% now), but the private sector is down 7,900 and public sector up 7,900 for May? Also odd is the sectors, with both construction and leisure/hospitality the biggest losers. Sure seems to be a lot of orange barrels out here for construction to be down (again, maybe a seasonal adjustment).

    I’m wondering if this gets revised or at least clarified.

    1. I’ll admit I had a hard time making sense of the report, but I do see your point. I’m betting we’ll end up seeing some revised numbers at some point.

  2. “I see Orange Barrels” that’s going to mean stimulus package infrastructure money. Government stuff. Or large projects planned long ago, since summer is Construction season, right?

    Construction is low. Inventory has been piled up, no new orders, freight had not been moving for a long time. Things are picking up, but that will still mean new private sector construction jobs had not probably been planned for THIS construction season. Really, who would have been planning big construction expansion jobs this past few seasons? no one. Everyone was feeling waaaay to grim.

    re: leisure/hospitality. People are still cautious, still talking about “Stay-cations”. WI Resorts are not exactly booming right now.

    So it makes sense to me. The Private sector has been horrible horrible horrible. The Gov’t stepped in with Infrastructure Project money. there ya go.

  3. Could be that stimulus road projects and other construction is showing up as “government” and not “construction.” But that masks the fact that most of these government jobs are done by private contractors, which for their payrolls is not different than any other project.

    The leisure/ hospitality figures are very possible with seasonal adjustment (it takes off jobs this time of year because Wisconsin always adds tourist jobs in May no matter how bad the economy is). But if you take those 2 sectors out, and it’s all but about 400 of the alleged loss.

    The Dems gotta get out in front of this and tell people that government jobs are more than just bureaucrats, or else that dishonest meme that “only government sectors are growing so it means nothing” will continue.

  4. I am withholding judgment, and not entirely convinced the Journal Sentinel, where this report originated, has not been spun on it.

  5. Xoff- There’s no doubt there’s spin going on by the J-S, because they could have led with 40,000 real jobs or the state unemployment rate dropping to 8.2%. But that doesn’t give Charles Sykes a lot to talk about tomorrow, now does it? So let’s gived a headline implying a collapsing private sector. SYNERGY, BAY-BEEE!!!

    The report does list “private employment” as -7,900 for May (it’s linked in the article), and goverment employment as +7,900. But it also says seasonally-adjusted employment was up, and those listed as unemployed were down 10,000, so that’s where the lower rate comes in. As I mentioned, the decline in construction does not ring true to me, so I’m betting stimulus construction is shown as “government” employment, even though it’s a private contractor doing the job.

    See, I knew those econ classes on BLS statistics would pay off!

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