Walker chalks up sluggish job growth to recall - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Walker chalks up sluggish job growth to recall

MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker chalks up Wisconsin's lagging job growth when compared to its Midwest neighbors to the effects of the months-long, unsuccessful effort to recall him from office.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released this week for the period March 2011-March 2012 show only modest job growth in Midwest states, with Wisconsin trailing Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota in job creation.

The data shows Michigan's private sector jobs grew 108,000; Illinois, 89,000; Minnesota, 55,000; and Wisconsin, 37,000.

"March-to-March, recall, simple," Walker told 27 News during an appearance at the World Dairy Expo at Dane County's Alliant Energy Center.

"Most employers were going to wait and see what happened," says Walker.

"I don't know that you can chalk it up to the recall so much," Director Laura Dresser of UW-Madison's Center on Wisconsin Strategy says.

Dresser says the modest job growth across the upper Midwest was more consistent with a still-slow recovery from the national recession.

Walker also offered cautious praise for the first drop in the national unemployment rate below 8 percent in 44 months. The U.S. Department of Labor says September's rate was 7.8 percent.

"7.8 percent is still not a dramatic drop," Walker told 27 News. "But it's, that's good news."

Dresser says the data shows discouraged people abandoning their job searches was not responsible for the unemployment rate dip, but rather, it appears to be job growth nationally.

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