After months during which Wisconsin ranked near the bottom in job growth — surely a frustrating development for Gov. Scott Walker, who pledged to create 250,000 jobs in his first term — Walker’s campaign is hoping to make lemonade out of lemons.
According to Politifact, by making false statements.
On Monday, Politifact took on the following statement made by the Walker campaign on July 29:
"Gov. Walker has balanced a $3.6 billion deficit, cut income taxes and Wisconsin has seen its best two-year job growth in a decade. We’re confident that all voters want to continue moving forward and have no desire to return to the failed policies of the past."
Politifact noted that the job-growth claim didn't single out private-sector jobs, which were the subject of Walker’s quarter-million pledge, so the fact-checkers looked at both private-sector and overall job growth.
In the private-sector realm, Politifact found that there were 62,082 more jobs at the end of 2012 than at the end of 2010, which takes in the first two years of the Walker administration.
While Politifact notes that former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle — whose tenure comprises eight of Walker’s 10-year claim — didn't match Walker’s two-year tally, the last year of the Doyle administration and the first year of Walker’s term top Walker’s first two years by 1,376.
"That period encompasses Doyle’s final year in office and Walker's first, both of which came after the official end of the recession in mid-2009," reads the analysis.
And what of the broader job count?
"We found two earlier periods that top Walker's two-year mark on the combined total of private and public-sector jobs," Politifact noted. "The Walker-era total was 53,564. Before the recession, from the end of 2003 to the end of 2005 — in Doyle’s era — the job count grew by 58,062. The other total that topped 2011-12 was post-recession, in the Doyle-Walker period of 2010 and 2011."
"The bottom line here," says Politifact, "Walker’s campaign claim falls short."