While running for Governor in 2010 Scott Walker made a promise to help the state create 250,000 jobs in his first term. That promise has followed him everywhere since then, with Democrats reminding the public constantly how far behind the Governor is on that goal.
The Department of Workforce Development released the latest jobs numbers Thursday, showing Wisconsin gained 32,000 jobs in the last year. That adds up to 62,000 jobs in his first two years in office.
Republicans have had total control of state government the last two years, and Democrats accuse them of focusing on divisive politics instead of job creation. But Republicans say it was the divisive nature of the recalls that stunted job growth in the Governor’s first two years.
Democrats have repeatedly pointed out that Wisconsin ranks in the bottom ten states for job creation, most recently coming in 44th.
The statement put out by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) on the latest numbers is focused on the positives, “It’s a proven fact that Wisconsin is creating jobs. Our reforms are paying off for the state; more people are back to work. We are moving Wisconsin forward. However, our work is not done.”
The public agrees the work is not done. In the most recent Marquette Law School poll 49% of respondents say Wisconsin’s job creation efforts are lagging behind other states. Only 35% say Wisconsin is the same.
So far the job numbers have not hurt Governor Walker’s favorability ratings. He survived his recall election despite low job numbers last June, and he’s still at 51% in the most recent polling. The big question for Republicans is whether that rating will stay strong if the job growth doesn’t pick up before the election in November of 2014.