New jobs numbers spark controversy - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New jobs numbers spark controversy

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New jobs numbers spark more debate in the race for governor. Current republican Governor Scott Walker says it proves he's dedicated to putting Wisconsin back to work. But, his opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett says, he's not buying it.

New data from the State Department of Workforce Development show Wisconsin added just over 23,000 new jobs last year. The report includes input from 160,000 employers.

But, it contradicts what the Federal Government reported last month. In a report they showed Wisconsin had lost close to 34,000 jobs, ranking it the worst in the nation.

Governor Walker says the new numbers are more accurate. In a statement, he said, "while there has been mixed information regarding previously reported estimates, the actual data released today shows Wisconsin experienced job growth in 2011."

But, Barrett says Walker is "cooking the books," by releasing numbers before they've been reviewed.

"What we saw in 2011 under Scott Walker was Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state in the country," Barrett said.

The new numbers will be included in a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That report doesn't come out until the end of June, three weeks after the recall election.

Experts say it is very rare for jobs numbers to be released before the official report is published.

But, the State Workforce Development Secretary, appointed by Governor Walker, says the recall election had no effect on his decision to release the data early.

During his campaign, Walker promised to create 250,000 private sector jobs during his four year term. That amounts to roughly 62,000 jobs per year.

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