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Unemployment Worse Than Last Year
WISCREPORT.COM (9/27/07) - Enacting huge budget increases when economic woes threaten to take a bite out of state government revenues and damage Wisconsinites prosperity is a foolhardy move, according to the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF).
Analysis of federally collected economic data shows the state’s unemployment rate has become worse than the national average within the span of just one year.
“Many lawmakers want to bloat government bigger even as our private economy weakens,” said AFPF Wisconsin Director Mark Block. “Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is now significantly higher than the national average after more than a decade of favorable economic trends.”
Wisconsin unemployment stands at 5.3 percent as of August (the most recent month available), up considerably from 4.6 percent last year and significantly worse than the national average of 4.6 percent. The state unemployment rate is higher than that of Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
From August 2006 to August 2007, Wisconsin suffered a net loss of 15,882 jobs, meaning there were 15,882 fewer people employed this August than last August. Wisconsin was the only state to post a significant over-the-month unemployment rate hike of 0.3 percent. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Wisconsin lags behind the region and national average in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measure of everything produced in the state. Wisconsin’s 2004-2006 real inflation-adjusted economic growth was just 2.2 percent, while the national economy expanded 5.9 percent.
All of Wisconsin’s neighbors, with the exception of recession-plagued Michigan, grew far more rapidly: Minnesota at 2.9 percent, Illinois at 3.4 percent, Iowa at 4.1 percent, and South and North Dakota at 6.8 and 8.8 percent respectively. All but seven states experienced more rapid GDP growth from 2005-2006. Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
As of 2006, Wisconsin has fallen to 25th in per-capita GDP and can no longer be considered a rich state, but simply middle-of-the-pack, and falling. Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
“Economic growth drives prosperity as well as government revenues,” Block concluded. “Forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for bigger government, even as private-sector growth deteriorates, will lead our state into an even more severe budget crisis as businesses leave and revenues dry up.”
Americans For Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity.
AFPF believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFPF educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits.